Working Groups

Science, Research and Development of Non-ferrous Metals


Draft Science, Research and Development Working Group Work Programme

NFMSD Working Group on Science and Research

The Objective of the Science Group

Forum participants agreed on the need to identify key scientific issues impacting on metals. They also acknowledged the need for programmes to develop, share and communicate credible scientific research and data on metals in a timely manner to facilitate decision making by governments, industry and others. The aim of this Working Group is to contribute effectively to the process of applying sound science to policy formulation regarding the safe production and use of metals.

Draft Work Programme of the Working Group

The Working Group Co-chairs, following a teleconference discussion with available members of the Working Group, propose that the Group will look as a first step at the following four topics. However, Working Group members are asked to indicate their own priorities, including any additional topics they consider that the Working Group should be addressing:

  1. Establishing a global research network on non-ferrous metals, in order to share credible scientific research between stakeholders, and bring more co-ordination to activities taking place around the world.
  • Please advise the Group of any relevant science networks you may be aware of, to allow us to build an activity inventory.
  • Who else do you think should be included in this global research network - other industries, NGOs, academics?
  • How best could the Network contribute to enhancing awareness and interpretation of sound science relating to non-ferrous metals?
  1. Elaboration of a mechanism to identify and resolve contentious issues which may benefit from the application of sound science
  • What kind of issues would you like to see the Working Group tackle -e.g. mine tailings technology , Persistent Bioaccumlative and Toxic(PBT) approach, occupational health issues, bioavailability etc?
  • How could the Working Group contribute to resolving these differences in international scientific opinion?
  • Is there a role, for example, for a recognised independent panel of experts?
  • What other work of this nature is underway that we need to take account of?
  1. Other areas of work as decided upon by the Working Group's members

- An example might be development of protocols for risk assessment of metals, Including the need to differentiate between metals, alloys and organic chemicals. This will involve sharing information on the Risk Assessment exercises underway for cadmium, nickel and zinc in the European Union, and examples of current risk assessment practises elsewhere in the world.

    • What can you tell the Group about the approach to assessing risk that is used in your country?
    • What parties would need to be brought on board regarding the development of "agreed protocols"?
    • Who else is trying to develop agreed protocols?
  1. As one possible specific mechanism to identify and begin to resolve contentious issues, Working Group members might consider the merits of convening a workshop of stakeholders on science-related subject areas.
  • What should be the desired outcomes?
  • What similar activities do we need to take account of?
  • Who should be the target audience for the workshop?
  • When do you think the workshop should be held (taking into account any similar initiatives)?

Working Group members are also invited to consider how the Group should divide its tasks and take the work programme forward. Working Group members' opinions are also sought on additional members we should invite to join the Group.


International Copper Study Group International Lead and Zinc Study Group International Nickel Study Group