MMG is committed to respecting the human rights of all our stakeholders and the communities in which we live and operate, and to providing access to effective remedies where we make an impact. This includes the wellbeing of communities surrounding our operations through our commitment to the protection of human rights, the ongoing monitoring and improvement of our grievance management processes and our alignment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We recognise that human rights cover a broad range of interrelated issues, requiring an integrated approach across numerous business functions. At MMG, our Human Resources, Legal, Supply Chain, Social Performance, Stakeholders Relations, Security, Exploration and Project Development functions have specific responsibilities for upholding our commitment to human rights.
Our Human Rights Policy and approach to managing human rights’ risk is embedded into our broader risk management framework. We integrate human rights considerations into our Code of Conduct, our Supplier Code of Conduct, employment and procurement processes, risk-analysis activities, engagement, social investment and formal grievance mechanisms. Human rights is considered a material sustainability issue for our business, represented at a corporate level on the Code of Conduct and People Committee, which is charged with confirming compliance with our Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI) action plan, Australia’s Modern Slavery legislation across our entire business, and reviewing any human rights grievances received through site-specific grievance mechanisms. We also seek to make sure our stakeholders, including employees, are confident to report instances of unacceptable conduct without fear of intimidation or reprisal.
We further commit to respecting human rights as outlined by the ICMM Mining Principles.
This commitment has been strengthened through the development of joint industry and civil society guidance on key issues such as Free Prior and Informed Consent, the rights of Indigenous peoples, and with the recent release of a set of performance expectations. We also participate in ICMM convened member discussions and peer learning on a wide range of business and human rights issues, including the role of business with regard to civic freedoms and human rights’ defenders.
We operate in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the United Nations Global Compact principles. We are also signatories to the United Nations Global Compact process under the auspices of our major shareholder CMC.
In 2018, the Australian Government introduced the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), which requires businesses to report annually, from 2020, on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. They must also report the action they have taken to assess and address those risks – as well as the effectiveness of their response. MMG’s 2020 Modern Slavery Statement was made available at www.mmg.com in the first half of 2021.
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
We operate in accordance with the VPSHR, as well as the rules of engagement, and the United Nations Basic Principles on the use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
Since 2016, we have standardised our security management plans which reference the VPSHR in relation to the deployment and conduct of public and private security. We also ensure public security forces that support our sites are adequately trained in the use and application of the VPSHR. In 2020, we were accepted as an Engaged Member of the VPI.
We are aware that many issues that can become security incidents have roots in community concerns built up over time. Often these issues are well-understood by our social performance teams, who are working on strategies to resolve these issues before they become security incidents. In line with this, we take the opportunity, wherever possible, to bring our security and social performance teams together to develop strategies around proactive risk identification and mitigation, grievance management and incident identification processes. We also work collaboratively with other stakeholders to review our human rights exposures and potential risks.
Any community-related fatalities and injuries close to our operations are of concern to us, even if they occur outside our controlled activities. We investigate these incidents so that we can learn from them, and they are recorded and treated as significant ‘uncontrolled incidents’.
In January, the body of an illegal miner was found drowned in a sump inside Kinsevere’s mine site. The Kipushi prosecutor undertook an investigation of the incident and removed the body. In late March, an on-duty police officer was killed by the Bakata Katanga separatist group on the power line road while working at the operation. And in September, a pedestrian was hit by a bus and passed away while walking along the power line road. In each of these incidents, Kinsevere worked closely with local communities, leaders and police to undertake any necessary investigations and provide support where possible.
View our 2022 Voluntary Principles Initiative annual report here.