The Responsible Gold Mining Principles consist of ten ‘umbrella’ Principles and 51 more detailed statements that set out performance expectations for implementing companies. In a series of blogs, we will briefly review the key tenets of the Principles. This time, we focus on umbrella Principle 2 ‘understanding impacts’. The commitment is that gold mining companies should ‘engage with stakeholders and implement management systems, so as to ensure that they assess, understand and manage impacts, realise opportunities and provide remedy where needed.’
Understanding and addressing a mine’s potential to cause adverse impacts is fundamental to achieving good social, economic and governance performance. Thus, the five supporting Principles explore different aspects of understanding and managing risks and impacts, engaging with stakeholders and resolving any grievances that may arise. Principle 2.1 relates to risk management with a focus on requiring companies to maintain ‘systems to identify and prevent or manage the risks that face’ their operations – a conventional company-centric view – but also requires them to identify and mitigate the risks that their activities may pose to others.