SME issues technical briefing on sustainable development

The Government and Public Affairs Committee (GPAC) of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) has issued the technical briefing paper, โ€œThe Mining Industry and Sustainable Development.โ€ This paper, along with the others developed by GPAC, is designed to be used as a fact-based educational tool for elected officials, the media and the general public.

โ€œSME is a cosigner to the dynamic agenda contained in the Milos Statement on Sustainable Development,โ€ said SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy. โ€œIn keeping with the directives of the Statement, this briefing presents information about best practices and stakeholder participation, and reinforces our commitment to provide valued data to the mining and minerals community, as well as elected officials and the local community.โ€

The SME Statement of Technical Position:

  • The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) imposed considerable environmental restrictions on the mining industry; SME has always reinforced strict adherence to the laws.
  • In 2002, SME established a Sustainable Development Committee to lead its efforts in this area and to propel the organization into global prominence.
  • SME is a signatory to the Milos Statement of 2003 on Sustainable Development, so it is committed to providing scientific, technical, educational and research skills in minerals, metals and fuels.
  • SME recognizes that sustainable development programs adopted by the industry have a tangible return on investment through brand recognition and loyalty, facilitation of permitting, reduced occurrence of community protests and vandalism, and diminished political risks.
  • SME actively promotes educational programs that encourage professional growth and interaction with the professional engineering community through books, articles, symposia, short courses and conferences on sustainable development in the mining and minerals industries.
  • SME has the expertise to provide balanced advice to government bodies, congressional staff and other interested organizations on applied sustainable development practices.

This paper, along with the other SME peer-reviewed technical briefing papers, can be viewed and downloaded from

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