London — The world’s big mining companies must improve their human rights record and step up efforts to curb environmental damage, the Responsible Mining Foundation said in its first review of global mining practices. The Responsible Mining Index, launched in Geneva on Wednesday, assesses the policies and practices of 30 large companies that produce 25% of mined commodities, from gold to copper and coal, operating in more than 40 countries. Many have established good policies on some issues such as tackling corruption and limiting planet-warming emissions, a report on the index said. But most have taken little action in other areas, including monitoring how mining affects children and in how to protect female workers from harassment and sexual exploitation, the report said. Hélène Piaget, CEO of the Responsible Mining Foundation, said the review showed many companies had introduced responsible mining policies but these were not always "trans-lated into effective actions". The report...

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