Sustainability and responsibility: the launching of the Standard for Responsible Mining

By Dale Benton
A global certification program, designed to foster a sector wide drive for sustainable and ethical best practice directly at the mine site, has official...

A global certification program, designed to foster a sector wide drive for sustainable and ethical best practice directly at the mine site, has officially been launched.

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) has officially launched the Standard for Responsible Mining, a global certification program for industrial scale mine sites.

With input from more than 100 global companies, organisations and individuals, including Anglo American and ArcelorMittal, the standard looks to replicate the success that other industries have achieved via similar programs, including organic agriculture, responsible forestry and sustainable fisheries.

The Standard offers shared value for mining industry participants, while addressing purchaser demand for greater options in sourcing responsibly mined materials, and civil society desire for transparency and independent verification.  

“As interest in the responsible sourcing of metals and minerals grows it is important to have standards that meet the needs of the wide variety of customers that mining serves, and address the expectations of society as a whole,” said Jon Samuel, Group Head of Social Performance and Engagement at Anglo American. “We look forward to trialling the IRMA Self-Assessment Tool and to continuing to contribute to the development of IRMA as a demonstration of our commitment to responsible mining.”

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“Microsoft believes that fairly-applied global mining standards such as those outlined in the Standard for Responsible Mining are essential to helping solve labor, human rights, and environmental issues at the far reaches of industry’s supply chains,” said Joan Krajewski, General Manager, Compliance and Safety, Microsoft. “Making progress on these important and challenging issues will require the efforts and engagements of many, which is why we play an active role in collaborative initiatives like the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance.”

 The Standard for Responsible Mining’s best practice requirements for mining include elements such as health and safety for workers, human rights, community engagement, pollution control, mining in conflict-affected areas, rights of indigenous peoples, transparency in revenue payments from companies to governments, and land reclamation once mining is done.

IRMA also released the Responsible Mining Map, an interactive map that will allow responsible producers and purchasers of minerals to demonstrate their commitment to a responsible minerals value chain and enable business relationships to develop.#



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