Business integrity in the mining sector


The licensing phase of a mining project is particularly susceptible to corruption. In fact, a quarter of all corruption cases in the oil, gas and mining sectors globally arise at the very start of those extractive projects. [1]

At a time when social licence to operate is regarded as the top business risk facing the mining industry,[2] a company’s ability to demonstrate business integrity is increasingly essential for the success of its projects. Aside from legal sanctions, corrupt activity and even allegations of corruption can severely damage a company’s reputation with customers, shareholders, investors and future business partners.

Having effective systems in place to detect, prevent and manage corruption risks is a business imperative both to ensure compliance with applicable laws and because it is good for business. Corruption affects project viability, company reputation and future business relationships.

Business integrity in mining sector

Why we are doing this work

Despite the potential for serious impacts, many mining companies do not have the right policies and procedures in place to be able to effectively identify and mitigate corruption risks in their business. Others may have robust systems but could do better at publicly demonstrating them.

Transparency International is seeking to work with mining companies of all sizes that are committed to responsible business conduct. Through this project, we aim to help these companies evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their anti-corruption policies and procedures in the context of licensing and permitting, investing in a mining asset or acquiring an existing project.

What this work involves

We have developed a Responsible Mining Business Integrity Tool that we are piloting with participating companies and TI National Chapters around the world. This tool draws on over 40 best practice guides and standards to help mining companies evaluate the robustness of their anti-corruption controls and procedures. It has been reviewed by industry-based compliance lawyers, business integrity experts and the ICMM.

If you are a company that works in or with the mining sector around the approvals process for a mining operation, and you would like to be involved, please get in touch.

[1] OECD, Corruption in the Extractive Value Chain, (Paris: 2016).

[2] EY, Top 10 business risks facing mining and metals in 2019-20, 2018.