Breaking New Ground presents an analysis of a large and heterogeneous sector through the many stages of minerals and metals exploration, production, use, reuse, recycling, and final disposal. The project assumed from the start that sustainable development could provide a useful framework to guide the minerals sector. It also believed that by setting out the challenges – from all perspectives, in a balanced way – new ways forward would emerge. This executive summary provides a basic guide to the priority issues facing the sector, which MMSD identified in its consultations with different stakeholders, and outlines some of the most important policy recommendations that came out of the process of consultation and analysis. A process of this nature has not been attempted on this scale before in any major industrial sector. It has not been an easy task, given the low levels of trust in the sector on the one hand and the complexity of the issues on the other. Much of the substance of Breaking New Ground is based on research and consultation undertaken through the regional processes in Australia, North America, South America, and Southern Africa. Mirroring the global process, the regional reports are based on extensive dialogue with key stakeholders through workshops, regional forums, and regionally convened advisory groups and on research commissioned on priority topics. The regional partners generated a picture of the sector’s contribution to sustainable development and the key priorities in their respective regions. Most important, they identified regionally specific actions for the way forward.The regional analyses and outcomes are available as separate reports.
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). (2002). Executive summary. Breaking new ground: The report of the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project (pp. xii-xxxiv). Earthscan for the International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK.