Governments administer and regulate mining activities through a variety of laws and regulations that differ significantly from country to country. In some countries the minerals are owned by that country; elsewhere minerals may be privately owned. Responsibility for regulation of mining activities may be at the national level, at the state or provincial level, or at an even more local level. Commonly, different aspects of a mining operation are regulated at different levels of government and there maybe overlap with more than one level of government regulating the same aspect. Notwithstanding these differences, the government viewpoint in relation to sustainability of a mining operation generally requires that the mining proponent should:
1 Observe all applicable laws and regulations;
2 Adhere strictly to terms and conditions associated with project approval, including environmental management and monitoring programs;
3 Implement and maintain community consultations and community involvement programs;
4 Avoid causing divisions within the local communities or adding to pre-existing divisions;
5 Implement programs to manage public risks associated with the project including delivery, usage and storage of hazardous substances, operation of tailings storage facilities, and the use of explosives;
6 Provide regular reports presenting up-to-date information about key project issues and monitoring of environmental parameters;
7 Ensure that sufficient funds are accrued or otherwise arranged so that the project site can be rehabilitated once mining has ceased.
8 Some jurisdictions, particularly for projects in remote or impoverished areas, also require that proponents assist government in providing services such as health and education, and the upgrading of local infrastructure
From the viewpoint of a mining company, sustainability means locating and developing mining projects to provide returns to shareholders, as well as funding for exploration to find or acquire replacement projects. Some companies, such as the Benguet Corporation of the Philippines, once a major producer of gold, copper and other minerals, have sustained themselves during downturns in the industry, by alternative revenue generating activities such as real estate development. Profit is clearly the main requirement for sustainability of any commercial enterprise. Most companies aspire to be sustainable; however, many do not achieve this goal, whether due to poor management, lack of profitability, take-over, or inability to find replacement projects. The main disincentive for a company is a lack of security-oftenure over its mineral resources, and it is unlikely that any Board of Directors would approve commitment of capital for a project that lacked such security.As the professional manufacturer of complete sets of mining machinery, such as ball mills, Henan Hongxing is always doing the best in products and service.
Commonly during the planning stages of a project and continuing into the operating stage, a mining company is under pressure to contribute funds or efforts to a wide range of programs. The company may be reluctant or unable to make significant contributions until operations are underway and a positive cash-flow is established. As negotiations take place during the environmental permitting process, the company may commit to future contributions and it is important that these commitments be sufficiently conservative that they can be afforded under all reasonable financial scenarios.
Another important aspect of sustainability from the company’s perspective is to establish and maintain community support. Each project depends on community support at least as much as the community depends on the project. It requires time and patience for a project proponent to establish trust, particularly in areas without a prior history of mining or with previous unfavorable experiences. It also requires a consistency of approach, the honoring of commitments, and a willingness to seek out, listen to and respond to the views of all stakeholders. Ideally, the mining project becomes an integral part of the community, something of which the community is proud.
From the viewpoint of employees, the over-riding requirements are:
1 Security, meaning a reasonable expectation of continuity of employment for a defined period;
2 Adequate remuneration, commensurate with the circumstances;
3 Training as necessary to carry out job requirements and to provide opportunities for advancement; and
4 A safe working environment.
5 In some circumstances, employees will have additional requirements relating to family accommodation, health services and religious observances.