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To get to net-zero, we will need to make mining 'nature-positive', says mining council chief

Focus areas include artisanal mining, child labour, the impact of automation, indigenous peoples' rights, impacts on biodiversity, climate change, tailings dams, conflict reconciliation, and corruption.

"The low-carbon transition is intrinsically linked to the capacity of mining to address a series of systemic social and environmental risks that threaten the sector's social licence and its ability to meet the 500% projected growth in demand for critical minerals," said the Commission's chair, Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement the Church of England Pensions Board.

The International Council of Mining and Metals, was formed more than 20 years ago, and its mining principles have evolved over the years into a mandatory set of environmental, social and governance requirements of its 26 members, which represent a third of the global metals and mining industry.

In an interview with Ethical Corporation, Dhawan insisted that mining, done well, could be neutral or even positive for nature, but he was candid about the challenges.

"For every hectare of land that they [Vale] disturb as a result of mining, they protect or conserve 12 hectares of land elsewhere. So that's the ratio of their positive impact relative to the amount that they disturbed through mining ... which I think is a really critical element of how mining, when done well, can really contribute to nature-positive future." Another element in the nature-positive formula is rehabilitation.

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