As the global population has increased, so too has the global per capita consumption of materials. Close to 60 billion tonnes of renewable and non-renewable resources are extracted each year around the world, up nearly 100% since 1980.1 In the face of resource consumption driven by globalization and urbanization, biodiversity is at risk. With close to one million animal and plant species now threatened with extinction2 the loss of biodiversity and the impact on ecosystems are concerns and challenges for many, including companies, governments and civil society. Working together to find innovative solutions for biodiversity protection will help towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 15 to sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
Mining operations can directly or indirectly impact biodiversity and ecosystems. Regulatory requirements are becoming increasingly stringent in response to widening recognition of these impacts. This includes requirements to tailor reclamation, with a focus on wildlife and plants of greatest conservation concern, and to implement biodiversity offsets to mitigate impacts that cannot be fully addressed through avoidance, minimization and rehabilitation.
Our operations are adjacent to or within areas of high biodiversity value, including temperate and arctic areas, mountains, forests and deserts. This proximity, as well as the nature of our operations, means that we have a significant responsibility for land and biodiversity management. Stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples expect us to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and to work collaboratively with them to develop integrated approaches to land use.
Aligning to regulatory requirements and stakeholder expectations, we aim to avoid, minimize or restore negative impacts on biodiversity in our operations, and we further challenge ourselves to working towards securing a net positive impact on biodiversity. We also have a firm commitment, in accordance with the ICMM world-leading position statement on respecting biodiversity, to not explore or mine in World Heritage sites and to respect all legally designated protected areas, including International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) category Ia, Ib, II, III or IV protected areas.