EBRD Board of Directors approves new mining strategy

By Malina Gont

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A more inclusive, transparent, innovative and sustainable approach to mining

The EBRD Board of Directors has approved a new Extractive Mining Industries Strategy that will guide the Bank’s investments in the mining sector for the next five years.

The approval followed a 45 day period of public consultations during which civil society organisations, sector specialists and members of the public were invited to offer their comments and EBRD experts engaged in dialogue with the Bank’s partners.

The new mining strategy aligns the sector’s economic potential in many countries where the EBRD invests with the Bank’s Green Economy Transition approach, which aims to increase green investments to 40 per cent of the Bank’s annual business volume by 2020. Through supporting the adoption of energy and resource efficiency, health and safety regulations and other environmental management systems, the EBRD has an important role in controlling the impact of mining projects.

Key elements of the new mining strategy include:

  • helping mining companies to increase operational efficiency and become more competitive
  • supporting good governance in the mining sector
  • promoting greater transparency and regulatory reform where necessary
  • supporting sustainability by increasing the usage of environmentally-friendly mining methods
  • sustaining inclusiveness in mining operations by facilitating participation in the workforce and maximising the effect on local economies.

The EBRD recognises the economic importance of mining in some of its countries of operations but also acknowledges the potential negative impacts when international environmental standards are not respected and economic diversification is not pursued. It is therefore important to develop mining activities in a sustainable manner and improve resilience and integration, the strategy underlines.

Eric Rasmussen, EBRD Director for Natural Resources, said: “We drew our new mining approach on four transition qualities: competitiveness, good governance, inclusion and green. Combining these four elements in our future mining investments, we will use new types of financing, support diversification and increase trade integration. We are also aiming for a greater involvement of the private sector, higher social responsibility, the application of best standards in governance and practices, high quality training and transparent supply chain management.”

Since 2012 the EBRD has invested over €1.364 million in 25 mining projects, with 95 per cent of those investments in the private sector.

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