The Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry (CSMI) is recognised globally as a centre of excellence in Africa for the training and education of managers, practitioners and regulators in sustainable development. The centre concentrates on occupational safety and risk management, occupational health, the bio-physical environment, community investments and stakeholder engagement.
The objectives of the centre are to:
The establishment of the CMSI arose from the recommendations of the Global Mining Initiative and the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) project, both of which stressed the importance of sustainable development in the mining industry. The importance of these issues was reaffirmed at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg. As part of their commitment to sustainable development, BHP Billiton, Lonmin and AngloGold Ashanti formed a partnership with the School of Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, and the Centre was established on 1 April 2004.
A recent survey indicated that 87% of line managers in the South African mining industry had no formal SHEC training. South African tertiary institutions do not adequately serve the needs of industrial SHEC practitioners in South Africa, whereas universities abroad have established a number of safety and safety science management degrees.
The mining industry, both nationally and internationally, suffers from a poor public image, but it is well-positioned – particularly in Africa – to make a lasting positive impact on the socio-economic development of the continent. Mining has often had a negative impact on the safety, health and welfare of employees and surrounding communities.
These impacts can be minimised or eliminated through knowledge, consultation, planning and commitment. Governments, shareholders, employees, and non-governmental organisations are placing increasing pressure on companies to do more than merely comply with legislation, but to also report transparently on their impacts and mitigating measures. If mining companies are to meet these challenges, the training of company employees and capacity–building in the communities in which mines and beneficiation plants operate are key requirements.
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The SHECbenchmarking database is a joint initiative between the ICMM and the CSMI. The database provides participating companies with a tool for comparing their performance against that of their peers, and for identifying best practice in the industry. Mining companies interested in participating in the project, should contact the CSMI for further details.
Visit the SHECbenchmarking website for more information.