Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is defined as ’development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (‘’Our Common future’’ – the Brundtland Report). 

The Namibian Chamber of Mines (Chamber) is an associate member of the International Council for Mining and Metal (ICMM), a leadership group focused on improving the sustainable development performance of mining companies. The sustainable development framework of the ICMM consists of 10 principles, a reporting guideline, an independent assurance system and the promotion of good practices. The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) interpretation of sustainable development for the mining and metals sector means that investments should be technically appropriate, environmentally sound, financially profitable and socially responsible. It provides guidance for operational level implementation of the ICMM Principles and elements by the Namibian mining industry. 

Leading practice (the best way of doing things at a given site) and a sustainable approach to management is critical for any mining company to gain and maintain its ‘social license to operate’ in the community.  It is essential to integrate environmental, economic and social aspects through all phases of mineral production from exploration through construction, operation and mine site closure. 

In keeping with the ICMM Principles, the Chamber promotes sustainable development and the balance between social equity, environmental protection, economic development and an effective governance framework. At the World Summit on sustainable development all countries represented committed themselves to the responsible management of chemicals including mining products such as ores, ore concen¬trates, metals, metal compounds and alloys. The mining industry, through the ICMM, is developing guide¬lines on materials' stewardship to promote responsible management of mining products. The ICMM is co-operating globally with the United Nations to develop a product management approach that is based on the principles of sound science and sustainable develop-ment. 

The private sector, through the initiatives of the Chamber of Mines, is responding with a business case for sustainable development. The Chamber of Mines, through its own mission statement, the remit of its employees and the leadership of its members, is seen to take a proactive role in setting standards of operation and practice that maintain international standing and reputation.  The primary functions of the Chamber of Mines are to protect the interest of member organizations, to uphold mining practice in Namibia to the highest standards, to observe international conventions and to ensure positive development of Namibia’s reputation as a mining nation. 


International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) Sustainable Development Principles

  • Implement and maintain ethical business practices and sound systems of corporate governance.
  • Integrate sustainable development considerations within corporate decision-making process.
  • Uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealing with employees and others who are affected by our activities.
  • Implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science.
  • Seek continual improvement of our health and safety performance.
  • Seek continual improvement of our environmental performance.
  • Contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning.
  • Facilitate and encourage responsible product design, use, re-use, recycling and disposal of our products.
  • Contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which we operate.
  • Implement effective and transparent engagement, communication and independently verified reporting arrangements with our stakeholders.