Calama, Chile, 17 Jun 2004
APEC Mining Ministers Joint Statement: Sustainable Development and Culture of Harmony with Local Populations, Minerals Trade Liberalization and European REACH Policy
APEC Mining Ministers have concluded their meeting with a joint statement promoting greater sustainable development in the mining sector and culture of harmony with local communities, calls for further liberalization of mineral trade and concern over new European Union Legislation on Chemicals.
In their Joint Ministerial Statement, APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining agreed that socially responsible development in the mining and metals industry produces positive results for social development, wealth creation and the environment.
"We recognized the importance and the need for promoting a cleaner and more efficient production, building on the significant efforts being made by the industry globally to address the environmental, economic and social impacts and benefits of minerals and metals," Ministers Stated in their Joint Statement.
Ministers also noted the "need of promoting a culture of harmony between the mining industry and local populations influenced by mining operations. This concept should be based on a continued dialogue, the respect for local institutions and authorities and a shared understanding of sustainable development aimed to encourage opportunities for human development beyond the mining activities in the long run."
On the issue of increased Trade and Investment Liberalization and Facilitation, Ministers agreed to identify the tariff and non tariff related issues for minerals and metals that fall within the APEC context.
"We recognized the importance of the mining and metals industry to APEC economies development goals and the need to understand the supply and demand outlook for minerals and metals, and the ability of this industry to meet this demand," Ministers stated.
Ministers also expressed concern over an issue that has received attention in other APEC Fora, the proposed European Union regulation on Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH).
"We agreed to express our concern to the European Union (EU) over possible EU trade restrictions imposed on minerals and metals by the proposed New Chemicals Policy (REACH). The proposed policy is not commensurate with the scale of the problem, particularly with respect to the potential impact on the mining and metals industry, and would impose unnecessary costs."
During this first ever APEC Mining Ministers' Meeting, Ministers traveled from Santiago to Chile's northern mining areas of Antofagasta and Calama. The Joint Ministerial Statement was delivered beside the Chuquicamata copper mine, the world's largest open-pit mine that is 4 kilometers long and 850 meters deep.
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