White Paper: Is the current composition of boards stifling the effectiveness of mining companies?

Cygnet Board Rigid Infographic 2021

Mining needs a transformation; it needs to innovate and change the way it is perceived by society, and this change should be driven from the top.

With an effective board, mining companies can achieve their objectives and push for more effective policies and procedures to work towards resolving issues that challenge the industry.

Good governance is the key to moving forward successfully and achieving goals set for the progress of the company as well as the community.

But is the current composition of the boards of mining companies inhibiting their ability to provide this level of governance and stifling innovation? 

In this new white paper, Board Rigid, we’ve analysed the boards of mining companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and AIM; a sample of 686 individuals and nearly 120 companies.  

We look at the size and composition of boards. We consider the average tenure of board members, their backgrounds, and their experience of ESG and health and safety issues.

Our key findings

Of the 686 board members in our sample:

  • 44% have a tenure of five years or more
  • 23% have a tenure of nine years or more
  • Only 10% are women
  • Only 5% have backgrounds in health, safety, environment and community; and environment, social, and governance. Of these, half are women.

In short, we find an industry at risk of stagnation and lacking some critical viewpoints through a lack of diversity and relevant experience.

Our report makes 18 recommendations to help mining companies make their boards more effective through invigoration, fresh perspectives and greater diversity.

There are pockets of good practice, and there are many opportunities to make mining a more sustainable, socially responsible industry. The wider mining sector should follow the example of industry leaders and pledge to take positive actions towards more responsible mining and changing the perception of society.  

You can download a copy of Board Rigid here.

Cover of Swann's Board Rigid white paper.

Sapna Gill, Associate – Research