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Towards Sustainability in Nordic Mining

A path towards sustainability for the Nordic mining industry

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The mining industry has a major impact on society – from an economic, environmental and social perspective and due to a vast number of criteria. Which criteria should be given priority depends on where the mining operations take place. The purpose is to examine the Nordic mining industry´s sustainability practice and to develop a guideline for its sustainability efforts. The research methods used in the study include a literature review, a content analysis of sustainability reports, a review of existing sustainability initiatives, guidelines and tools, a stakeholder survey and interviews with mining company officials. Based on the findings, a sustainability criteria guideline is suggested in the areas of corporate governance, fair operating practices, economic aspects, human rights, labour practices, society and the environment.

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Introduction

Rapid global development has led to an increased demand for raw materials such as minerals and metals. So far in the 21st century, economic development, population growth, the speed of urbanisation in Asia and the developments that have taken place in China and India have all been unusually high. Strong economic growth and the sophisticated requirements of the developed world have led to an increased demand for infrastructure and construction projects requiring minerals and metals (ICMM, 2013). When the global production of minerals cannot keep pace with the rising demand, the mining industry faces higher price levels. The opposite is the case when the demand is low. When prices are high, the attractiveness of exploration increases in that the profitability of new mining projects increases.

English

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