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2007 APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Mining

Perth, Australia | 14 February 2007

The Third Meeting of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining was held in Perth, Australia, on 14 February 2007.
1. We, the Ministers Responsible for Mining representing APEC Member Economies, convened our Third Meeting in Perth, Australia, on 14 February 2007, chaired by the Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Resources of Australia.
2. In the spirit of the APEC 2007 theme of "Strengthening our community, building a sustainable future "and the MRM3 theme, "APEC - Improving Leading Practice Sustainable Development in Mining", we recognised, especially in the era of globalisation, the need for closer regional cooperation for the sustainable development of the region's minerals resources. This view, which should transcend borders, aims to foster sharing and prosperity, recognising the different minerals resources endowments and development stages of economies.
3. As noted in the first two APEC Meetings of Ministers Responsible for Mining, we recognised that the Asia Pacific region is the main driver of global economic growth and a significant producer and user of minerals and metals. Many economies derive important economic and social benefits from their development, trade and use. The mining and metals industry can effectively be an engine for development. Resource endowment and minerals and metals usage varies considerably between APEC member economies; making the relationship among Ministers Responsible for Mining economies vital.
4. The meeting of Ministers Responsible for Mining provides Member Economies with the opportunity to discuss the challenges arising for both producer and consumer economies from the increasing demand for minerals and metals globally, and the development of new technologies and applications which require new material.
5. We welcomed the direct engagement of the region's mining industry through the APEC Mining Industry Forum. We noted the recommendations in the Mining Industry Forum's Chairman's report.
6. We discussed and analysed issues under three main themes: Global Supply and Demand; Effective Governance; and Sustainable Development - Implementation
Global Supply and Demand
7. Recognising the importance of open and transparent markets as the most efficient mechanism to allocate resources effectively, we noted that:
  • Global minerals prices have risen, in some cases to historical levels.
  • The APEC region accounts for a substantial share of world mineral resources and utilisation and recycling is an increasingly important source of supply for some materials.
  • Understanding the trends and drivers for minerals commodities markets and consistent collection and sharing of data would improve understanding of the operation of minerals markets and enhance sustainable development.
  • Trends and drivers as well as the degree of market transparency differ between commodities. Governments can help improve transparency in minerals markets by facilitating the provision of public or pre-competitive information to the market.
Effective Governance
8. Recognising the importance of a balanced approach to regulation complemented by mining sector initiatives, we noted that:
  • A stable, well-designed and transparent regulatory framework can improve an economy's attractiveness as an investment destination and facilitate technology transfer.
  • Regulatory frameworks should not be unduly prescriptive and should establish performance goals and outcomes that are beyond minimum compliance.
  • Regulatory frameworks should be flexible and enable industry to find cost-effective ways to meet society's sustainable development expectations in areas such as health, safety, environment, mine planning, design and closure.
  • Regulation can contribute to enhanced participation of local and Indigenous communities in minerals, metals and mining development throughout the life cycles of mining operations.
  • Multi-stakeholder processes have introduced a range of initiatives to better manage environmental and social issues arising from mining operations, and these initiatives can be integrated into flexible regulatory approaches.
Sustainable Development - Implementation
9. Recognising the importance of APEC producer and consumer economies taking responsibility over the life cycle of minerals resources utilisation, and the benefits of capacity building initiatives between APEC economies, we noted that:
  • Life cycle partnerships involves participants working together to ensure that mining materials and products are produced, consumed and disposed in a responsible manner.
  • There is a distinction between those parts of the life cycle where the mining industry has a direct role, and those parts where there is a shared concern.
  • A life cycle approach can assist economies in identifying capacity building priorities. Capacity building can occur on many levels: institutional systems such as regulatory approaches, operational improvements relating to mine sites, including through transfer of technology and services, and community development and engagement.
Action Items
1. Recognising the importance of mining and metals to the growing integration of APEC economies, Ministers agreed to the 10 APEC Mining Policy Principles. Our agreement to the APEC Mining Policy Principles recognises that application of these principles will be dependent on the specific circumstances of each Member Economy.
i. Pursue policies that enhance the sustainable production, trade and consumption of minerals and metals thereby improving the economic and social wellbeing of our people.
ii. Foster regular exchange between member economies about experiences with regulations, policies and practices and about significant developments in each economy's minerals and metals sector.
iii. Promote the best possible functioning of global markets for minerals and metals, through support for market transparency and facilitation of trade. Export restrictions should be employed only in exceptional cases, and in accordance with WTO rules.
iv. Foster investment certainty in the APEC minerals sector through the pursuit of open minerals and metals markets and the articulation of clear and predictable investment policies.
v. Promote cost effective, evidence based, transparent and objective-based measures which improve the efficiency in the regulation of the minerals industry to contribute to economic, environment and social development outcomes.
vi. Encourage, support and promote initiatives by the minerals and metals industry and stakeholders that contribute to national and international sustainable development goals.
vii. Encourage research to develop and apply new minerals exploration, extraction, and pollution control technologies that are more cost effective, efficient, economically sound, environmentally responsible and socially acceptable. Promote information exchange and cooperation on such technologies.
viii. In partnership with all life cycle participants, ensure that materials and products made from minerals and metals are produced, consumed, recycled or disposed of in a responsible manner.
ix. Encourage all participants in the life cycle of a material or product to take direct responsibility for their area of action, and a shared concern over other stages of the life cycle.
x. Support capacity building activities for sustainable development so that all APEC Economies are able to maximise the benefits and minimise the impacts from minerals resource development.
2. We agreed to study the impediments to greater trade and barriers to investment in the minerals and mining industry. This study should:
  • explore practical actions to deliver free trade and investment for minerals and metals in the APEC region;
  • link to other APEC fora, as appropriate, for input to the overarching analysis to be conducted by APEC Senior Officials (SOM) for regional economic integration; and
  • include the Mining Industry Forum recommendations.
APEC Mining Working Group
3. Ministers noted the proposal to establish a Mining Working Group.
4. The Russian Federation accepted to chair the proposed Working Group for 2007-2008. Ministers instructed mining officials to work with The Russian Federation, to develop a detailed proposal for the APEC Senior Officials meeting on 22 June - 3 July 2007, including objectives, terms of reference and operating procedures for submission to APEC Senior Officials and subsequently to the APEC Ministerial meeting in September 2007.
5. The proposed Mining Working Group would replace the activities previously conducted in the Group of Experts on Mineral and Energy Exploration and Development (GEMEED) and the Non Ferrous Metals Dialogue (NFMD). The Mining Working Group would be reviewed at the end of 2010.
6. We agreed that the proposed Mining Working Group would advance the mining policy principles adopted at this meeting and address the issues raised by industry.
7. We agreed to the proposed Mining Working Group developing a draft report for submission to the UNCSD process, for consideration by APEC Senior Officials prior to consideration by APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining at MRM4.