At the Cape Town Mining Indaba this week, the International Council on Mining and Metals unveiled a new Social and Economic Reporting Framework for its members, who represent a third of the industry. Critics may see corporate whitewashing, but such initiatives are driven in part by investors and add to transparency.
ESG -- environmental, social and governance -- issues are a major theme at this year's "Investing in African Mining Indaba", a reflection of the central stage they have taken in the corporate world. A decade ago, the term was hardly known and such issues would have been sideshows at "alternative Indaba" events organised by various green groups and lefties.
Now such issues have become mainstream, underscoring mounting concerns about a host of issues including corruption, tax avoidance, inequality and the rights of mine-effected communities.
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) framework unveiled at the Indaba commits the group's members "to report on eight key indicators, which include country by country tax reporting on revenues, payment and tax, workforce composition, pay equality, wage level, training provided, local procurement, education and skills programmes, and capacity building."
It's worth breaking some of these down a bit.
Country by country tax...