The Sustainable and Acceptable Mining (SAM) project led by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has published a vision and roadmap for the Finnish mining industry towards the year 2030. A mining business culture based on sustainability and acceptability can become a long-term business advantage but implementing this idea is still in its early stages in Finland, according to VTT’s Research Team Leader Johanna Kohl.
The main focus of the SAM project is on the mining sector’s social licence to operate. Environmental sustainability is focused on water, and economic sustainability is focused on new sustainable business and service concepts. According to the project, it is also essential to have interaction between the mining industry, non-governmental organisations, public authorities and researchers. International cooperation, especially with Chile and Australia, and benchmarking against the forest sector are also identified as important elements of the roadmap.
Six pathways to develop the industry
The SAM roadmap presents a number of conclusions, named as vision pathways, which are: 1) learning and creating mining industry, 2) developing the corporate culture in mining industry, 3) a mining industry accepted by the local community, 4) developing the authority actions, 5) minding the life-cycle of the whole mining action and after the mining action, 6) tailored communication.
VTT’s research partners in the project are the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, The Geological Survey of Finland and the University of Helsinki. Other partners include Metsähallitus, Agnico-Eagle, Anglo-American, City of Kuusamo, First Quantum Minerals, Northland Mines, Kaivannaisteollisuus ry, and Sandvik Mining and Construction.
Source: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland