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A Collaborative Approach to Sustainable Mining Governance in the Andes: Insights from BGR’s MinSus Project

The Andean region possess a wealth of mineral resources, such as copper and lithium, which are increasingly in demand by various industries and sectors, including renewable energy, electronics, and transportation. The mining industry has the potential to contribute significantly to its growth and social development, desirably in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030. At the same time, the sector also creates complex socio-economic and environmental challenges in the region.
In this context, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has commissioned the Federal Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resources (BGR) to carry out the MinSus project in cooperation with its regional counterpart, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The presentation will showcase how the MinSus project has promoted responsible and sustainable mining in the Andean countries over the past seven years, highlighting how the project has worked through building capacity for sustainable mining practices, improving governance frameworks, and fostering partnerships between stakeholders.
The presentation will also feature examples of dealing with abandoned mining sites. It will be illustrated how the investigation of these sites with regard to environmental and health hazards can be carried out, as well as how the potential for tailings reprocessing can be determined (“secondary mining”), demonstrating concrete approaches and applied geoscientific methodologies to managing mining legacies in a responsible and sustainable way.


Achim Constantin1, Jacob Mai1
1BGR, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023
South America