BHP’s Olympic Dam operation in South Australia has become the first Australian mine to be awarded the Copper Mark, an international accreditation that recognises responsible production practice.
The Copper Mark was initiated by the International Copper Association (ICA) in December 2019 as an independent entity and has committed to including the perspectives of its impacted stakeholders in the governance structure.
The accreditation is an assurance framework specific to the copper industry, developed to ensure that companies demonstrate best practices in responsible production and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Copper Mark is a step forward in developing an industry-wide approach to transparency and standards for the copper value chain and reinforces the value BHP places on responsible, sustainable production,” BHP Mineral Americas president Rag Udd said.
“Copper is a future-facing commodity and our operations have an important role to play in providing high-quality and sustainable copper that is essential to the energy transition.
“It is important to our customers, investors, employees, communities and governments to ascertain the ethical and sustainable production of copper along the value chain.”
The Copper Mark independently assesses participants in 32 critical areas including environment, community, human rights and governance issues for mining, smelting and refining operations.
BHP’s Chilean operations Escondida and Spence were also awarded the Copper Mark.
“We are delighted to welcome Escondida, Spence and Olympic Dam among the recipients of the Copper Mark,” Copper Mark executive director Michèle Brülhart said.
“We are particularly pleased to see the first Australian site to receive the Copper Mark with Olympic Dam while we continue to grow our footprint in the world’s main copper-producing country, Chile.”
BHP submitted letters of commitment to the Copper Mark Responsible Production Framework on October 31, 2020.
“Olympic Dam is a multi-generational ore body and one of the world’s most significant deposits of copper, gold, silver and uranium,” BHP Olympic Dam asset president Jennifer Purdie said.
“The Copper Mark accreditation provides an industry-wide approach to transparency and sustainability in the copper value chain and provides our customers with confidence in the copper they purchase.”