APEC economies remain actively involved in mining issues. In 2019, Chile will host Mining Week on 5–8 August in the city of Copiapo. Mining Week will focus on the participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the industry; the promotion of improvements in mining equipment, technology and services; and sustainable economic development issues.
Background: Mining in APEC
Around 70 per cent of all mining output is produced and consumed in APEC member economies—this includes most of the world’s bauxite, copper, iron, nickel, silver, tin and zinc. Collectively, these resources play a role in everything from home construction to transportation and digital infrastructure, food production and healthcare. The mining, mineral and metal industries are of great importance to APEC, with close to 75 per cent of all global mining trade and investment conducted within the region.
According to the World Trade Organization, the share of natural resources in total world exports increased to more than 22 per cent since 1990. APEC’s promotion of free trade and investment in the mining sector reflects the importance of minerals and metals in generating economic growth—as a component in many key products that have improved living standards. APEC’s collaborative activities support well-managed, effectively regulated mining and metallurgical operations that are sustainable and that contribute to the well-being and livelihoods of citizens in APEC economies.
In 2007, APEC ministers endorsed the establishment of the Mining Task Force (MTF), building on previous activities within APEC. The MTF derived its mandate from priorities set by APEC Leaders and ministers and from direction provided by ministers responsible for mining. The Task Force was composed of policy officials who work with experts in government and academia, private industry, and regional and international organizations.
At the 3rd Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Mining in 2007, ministers agreed to APEC’s mining policy principles, such as:
- Pursuing policies that enhance the sustainable production, trade and consumption of minerals and metals thereby improving the economic and social wellbeing of our people
- Fostering regular exchange between member economies about experiences with regulations, policies and practices and about significant developments in each economy's minerals and metals sector
- Fostering 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
- Promoting cost effective, evidence-based, transparent and objective-based measures which improve efficiency in the regulation of the minerals industry to contribute to economic, environment and social development outcomes
- Encourage, support and promote the initiatives of the minerals and metals industry and of stakeholders that contribute to sustainable development goals
- Support capacity building activities for sustainable development so that all APEC economies can maximize the benefits and minimize the impacts from minerals resource development
The 5th Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining was held on 27–28 June 2014 in Beijing. The ministers issued a joint statement about actions that are needed to be taken to achieve sustainable development in the mining sector. They instructed the Task Force to formulate and implement an action plan. The statement outlined actions in the following three main areas of focus:
- Closer cooperation of the mining sector in the Asia-Pacific region
- Innovation-driven growth
- Social responsibility and common development
Ministers also emphasized the need to accelerate the mining industry’s transformation and upgrading, as well as the pursuit of a modernized development path to improve its social, environmental and economic benefits.
During the 12th MTF meeting, members exchanged information on projects and best practices and explored ways to continue strengthening collaboration for a more sustainable mining in the APEC region.
The 5th Public Private Dialogue on Mining was focused on the following topics:
- Harnessing technology to promote mining safety and sustainability
- Addressing infrastructure challenges in the mining industry
- Cultivating inclusive growth in the mining industry
- Communicating the value of the mining industry
The 6th Ministers Responsible for Mining agenda was focused on the importance of inclusive and sustainable development practices, how to promote further investment in the mining industry for growth, overcoming innovation-driven growth barriers and inclusive development, use and trade of minerals and metals in generating socio-economic benefits, sharing best practices in management, technology transfer and a generally closer cooperation of the mining sector in the APEC region.
Last page update: May 2019