May Hermanus on global Responsible Mining Index board

Mine health and safety researcher Prof May Hermanus has been appointed to serve in the Responsible Mining Index board based in Amsterdam.

Hermanus is the Executive Director at the CSIR Natural Resources and Environment research unit. Her previous positions include chairperson of the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC), and chairperson of the board of the Mining Qualification Authority (MQA).

The Responsible Mining Foundation was established in the Netherlands in November 2012, and will publish the Responsible Mining Index.

The index encourages continuous improvement in responsible mining in the minerals and metals industry by transparently ranking the performance of mining companies on economic, environmental, social and governance issues and highlighting best practice.

As populations increase and living standards rise, demand for mining products continues to grow.

Artisinal mining, long absent from Africa due to the industrial revolution and colonialism, is in massive resurgence. Some operations are illegal, and some perpetrate social injustice and enviornmental degradation. (Photo; UNEP).
Artisinal mining, long absent from Africa due to the industrial revolution and colonialism, is in massive resurgence. Some operations are illegal, and some perpetrate social injustice and enviornmental degradation. (Photo; UNEP).

Mining health, safety and environment impacts measured
Responsible mining, according to the Responsible Mining Index, refers to mining activities that demonstrably respects and protects the interests of people, communities and the environment of producing countries.

Responsible mining activity contributes discernibly and fairly to the broad economic development of the producing country.

The Responsible Mining Index will publish a biennial report to highlight leading practices and learning in an enabling context of transparency and free access to information for all stakeholders.

The report is targeted at decision-makers, interest groups, stakeholders and opinion makers in the industry.

The Responsible Mining Index was established to ensure that the full potential of minerals and metals mining positively benefit the people, economies and environments of producing countries, particularly in some of the world’s poorest regions, whilst ensuring that mining companies also benefit in a fair and viable way.

The methodology and indicators will be developed through expert and stakeholder consultations to ensure a common understanding of what society at large expects from mining companies. The methodology will be developed this year, with the first index expected to be published by 2017.

The Index accepts funding from governments, civil society and philanthropic foundations. To ensure its independence, the index does not accept funding or other contributions from the mining industry and related sectors.

The Responsible Mining Index will be staffed by a small international team working in collaboration with content, process and methodology experts. Hermanus forms part of this team.

* Sources; CSIR. UNEP.

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Edmond Furter

Editor at Sheqafrica.com
Edmond Furter is the editor of Sheqafrica.com. He is a freelance technical journalist, and has won six journalism awards. He specialises in industrial, business, and cultural content in web, journal, and book formats.