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Partnering for our Common Future

Optimising mining’s partnering capability to contribute to community resilience and thriving societies

Of all industries, mining has possibly the widest ranging and deepest impact on humanity and the planet. At one end of the value chain, every person’s life is reliant on the mining industry, from the steel beams that hold up the buildings we live and work in, to the mobile phones in almost every person’s pocket.

At the production end of the value chain, mining has a significant impact: as a major employer, as a purchaser of goods and services, as a user and builder of infrastructure, as a utilizer of water and energy, as a payer of taxes, and in terms of its impact on host communities and the environment.

The economic, social, environmental and political impact mining has, and the size and length of time of the investments it makes, means that it has the potential to be a powerful and hugely positive, transformational, partner. By actively aligning its resources and investments alongside those of government, international development partners, communities, and NGOs it can deliver extensive social, environmental and economic benefits that contribute to community resilience both within and beyond its own value chain and, through this, reap extensive benefits itself.

This report sets out to support companies in understanding the potential of optimised partnering, and lays out how to undertake a diagnostic on the degree they are set up and operating to be institutionally ‘fit for partnering’.

The resource brings together TPI’s cutting-edge thinking from multiple sectors of what an organisation needs to do in practice to partner effectively and combines it with the latest thinking and sustainable development leadership from the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) and its members.

The concepts laid out in the guide, including a self-assessment tool, have been designed and tested to help companies consider their current state and how it might improve, brought to life by practical examples. It introduces a framework for assessment including having place the right strategies, systems and processes, culture, capacity and networks to be able to partner effectively and better contribute to community resilience.

About this guidebook

Partnering for our Common Future was co-authored by David Prescott, Victoria Thom and Darian Stibbe, The Partnering Initiative; and Nicky Black, Hannah Clayton and Danielle Martin, ICMM, 2021.

Many thanks to all those who gave up their time to be interviewed or participate in group discussions: Danielle Airton, BHP (Australia); Matt King and Phil Casey, Newmont (USA and Argentina); Carla Robert, Damien Roux, Coralie Perissol, Olivier Bizeau, Orano (Canada and France); Allison Burger, Angela Nell, Abdel-Razak Yakubu, Lebo Mlipha, Abubakari Mohammed and Gail Sheppard, Gold Fields (South Africa, Ghana and Australia); Michel Santos, Francisco Raunelli, Jacinta Seymour and Fiona Sartain, MMG (Democratic Republic of Congo, Peru and Australia); Edwin Hlatshayo, Glencore (South Africa); Dawn Brock, ICMM (UK); Carla Soutelinho, Vale (Brazil); Tracy Bame, Freeport McMoran (USA); Marlena Anderson and Jay Schlosar, Teck (Canada). Thanks also to Danielle Jean-Pierre Figueroa for research support.

Thanks also to the members of the ICMM Skills Initiative Working Group for their contributions during the drafting and review process for this guidance.

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