Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals (GEMM) 2014: Creating Mutual Value: “What’s Important to ‘You’?”

April 9 – 10, 2014 (networking opportunities April 11 a.m.)
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Asia Pacific Hall
Vancouver, BC, Canada

“Mining for whom and to what end?” was the theme of the last dialogue. GEMM 2014 will deepen that discussion by focusing on the human interactions and organizational dynamics that shape thinking and acting within communities, companies, civil society, and governments. We will drill down into the basics: the hopes and fears that shape our “stories,” stories that live inside communities moving from old to young, and from the project site to the boardroom, and the boardroom to the site.

We will ask how those insights can be used to identify straightforward practical steps that become part of a mindset (like safety is now part of the DNA of many companies) applied every day in the way we live and work together in effective working relationships within the resource sector, as employees and as neighbours.

Money and markets, water and land will be the lens through which we explore risks and opportunities. We will ask whether it is possible to build resilient relationships given different organizational cultures and “currencies” of value that are important to us in different ways. We will ask whether the proliferation of standards, guidelines and rights is creating value for communities and companies on the ground, and to investors and governments, or only generating paper and websites.

And we will ask whether such working relationships have become essential assets to building better businesses, livelihoods, and lives in resource driven economies and regions, creating value during their operations and sustainable legacies after closure.

Information on recommended accommodation can be found here.

This session will be the fifth event in the RMSI Dialogue Series.

Mining Report: Sustainability and responsibility are keys to Canadian mining success

Mining Report: Business in Vancouver magazine

By Glenn Sigurdson

Based on GDP, Canada has the 11th largest economy in the world. The oil and gas sector gets most of ink as the driver of our resource-based economy, but few people know Canada has one of the largest mining sectors on the planet, operating in more than 100 countries (according to Natural Resources Canada). The same source indicates that in 2012, the total value of Canadian mineral exports was $92.4 billion, or more than 20 per cent of our nation`s total exports.

Mining in Canada is big business and important business: The Mining Association of British Columbia says the sector is the leading customer in Canada`s ports, it supplies one in every 54 jobs, and it`s the highest paying industrial sector and the largest employer of aboriginal people. In 2011, mining companies invested $17 billion in capital investment and paid $7.1 billion in corporate taxes and royalties.

Two Canadian cities are global mining leaders. Toronto is the global centre for mining financing and Vancouver is a world centre for mining exploration, the home of 1,200 exploration companies, as well as numerous operating companies. It is only fitting that Vancouver is also home to another global mining initiative, the Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative (RMSI), housed at SFU`s Beedie School of Business, which already has a 15-year track record in the minerals sector. The RMSI is exploring different ground: the means by which the mining sector can develop and demonstrate sustainability and responsibility over the coming decade.

These are not just empty words. As Canadian miners explore and operate in 4,300 projects around the world, sustainability and responsibility are increasingly the credentials required, as important as identifying the place to dig and the ore to extract. Canadian mining companies cannot act with impunity, and have been taken to task for everything from human rights abuses to degradation of the lands and waters in the vicinity of their activities in countries from Eritrea, Greece, Papua New Guinea and the Congo. At the same time, Canada itself is increasingly the target of new mining activity where it faces challenges from neighbouring aboriginal communities. Around the globe, communities faced with the prospect of a mine as a neighbour are first asking a critical question: “mining for whom and to what end?”

This past April, 140 participants from around the world gathered at the Morris Wosk Centre for Dialogue in downtown Vancouver to participate in the fourth in the series of GEMM dialogues: Building from the Ground Up: Implementing Responsibility and Sustainability in the Global Mining Sector. This was not a mining industry conference; this was collaboration between companies, communities, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and governments, beginning the conversation to tackle together “mining for whom and to what end?”

This is a key moment in the process. RMSI has grown out of the movement to create awareness about the need for sustainable development within the sector. The past decade has been about identifying and setting standards. Implementation is the challenge for the next decade. Work inspired by the past GEMM dialogues is now building to the 2014 dialogue next April; in particular, how to turn the proliferation of standards into action with on-the-ground practices that are relevant to site-specific dynamics where the real changes must happen.

The discussion must go beyond economic questions, as important as they are, and become more inclusive. Everyone involved in the process, from environmentalists to miners, local governments to community groups, must understand that each has a vital self interest in understanding what is going to work for the other side. For the miners, it’s an opportunity to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing the industry.

Clearly, as the numbers demonstrate, the mining industry is important to the economic well-being of Canadians. But just as clearly, there is more at stake than can be calculated by the traditional indicators.

The mining industry can only move forward by understanding what is going to work for the many other communities of interest that have a stake in what happens on the ground. Whether there is a “community case” for mining has become increasingly important question. Answering that question is becoming as fundamental as the presence of an ore body in making the “business case” for a mine. RMSI is creating the space for the players to explore together.

Glenn Sigurdson is the Chair of the Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University.

Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals (GEMM) 2013 “Building from the Ground Up: Implementing Responsibility and Sustainability in the Global Mineral Sector”

April 17 – 19, 2013
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Asia Pacific Hall
Vancouver, BC, Canada

An Invitational Dialogue that contemplated how to make broader policies, procedures and processes within and among mineral sector parties, real “on-the-ground” and relevant to site-specific dynamics.

This session was the fourth event in the RMSI Dialogue Series.

Event Materials:

Final RMSI GEMM 2013 Dialogue Series Agenda
Final RMSI GEMM 2013 Dialogue Series Workshop Agenda (April 19)

GEMM 2013 Final Report

Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals (GEMM) 2020 – Sustainability and Responsibility Challenges and Opportunities

April 17 & 18, 2012 Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Asia Pacific Hall Vancouver, BC, Canada

An Invitational Dialogue to bring together people and organizations from diverse perspectives and experiences to share insights and concepts, develop strategies and tools, and build networks and relationships for effective leadership and responsible management in the mineral sector.

This session was the third event in the RMSI Dialogue Series.

Event Materials:

Final RMSI GEMM 2020 Dialogue Series Agenda
Final RMSI GEMM 2020 Dialogue Series Report

Final RMSI GEMM 2020 Presentation – Aisha Conte
Final RMSI GEMM 2020 Presentation – Kate Kopischke and Marketa Evans
Final RMSI GEMM 2020 Presentation – Luke Danielson
Final RMSI GEMM 2020 Presentation – Onome Ako
Final RMSI GEMM 2020 Presentation – Stephen Kibsey

GEMM 2020 Photos

Working Groups:

RMSI is helping to identify “Pathways for Improving Practice” and “Agendas for Responsive Research.” Inspired by the energy around GEMM 2020, several project teams came together on the final day of the dialogue as work groups whose efforts have had a continuing life beyond the dialogue.

These projects included mapping of the multitude of existing regulatory and non-regulatory activities, processes, standards and codes; and for these to be considered within a framework for responsible mining that reflects the interests of all sectors and the need for more creative and accessible tools for communities affected by mining.

These activities helped to shape the subsequent GEMM 2013 Dialogue in Vancouver.

Mexico, Canada and the Mineral Sector – Sustainability and Responsibility

October 20, 2011Morris J. Wosk Centre for DialogueVancouver, BC, Canada

An Invitational Dialogue to bring together participants with the background, experience, and interest in building the knowledge, skills, and networks to strengthen working relationships between Canadian and Mexican companies and communities who are interacting with each other around mineral exploration and development.

This session was the second in the RMSI Dialogue Series.

Event Materials:

Final RMSI Mexico-Canada Dialogue Series Report
Final RMSI Mexico-Canada Dialogue Series Agenda

Business and Human Rights Beyond Ruggie

January 31, 2011
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Asia Pacific Hall
Vancouver, BC, Canada

An Invitational Dialogue to bring together participants in a multi-perspective dialogue on the draft “Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the U.N. ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework,” the Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG, John Ruggie) on the issue of human rights, transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

This session was the first in the RMSI Dialogue Series.

Event Materials:

Final RMSI Ruggie Dialogue Series Report