Today the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to publish the results from Unki Mine’s independent, third-party assessment. The platinum group metals mine, located in Zimbabwe, is the first of Anglo American’s portfolio of mines to be assessed against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining – the most rigorous and high-bar set of metrics currently available for measuring responsible practices at mine sites globally.

The audit report details results from an independent assessment carried out by SCS Global Services. SCS awarded Unki an achievement level of IRMA 75, a first in the IRMA system and a representation of both Anglo American’s leadership in the sector and the improvements made at the site over the last few years to align with IRMA’s high-bar expectations. The achievement level of IRMA 75 means that a mine has met at least 75% of the requirements in each of the four principle areas of the Standard (Business Integrity, Planning for Positive Legacies, Social Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility), as well as a set of 40 critical requirements.

The audit report is now available for public review. Those reviewing the report should note that some requirements were not scored as part of the audit process. These requirements were identified as needing additional guidance to enable a more accurate and consistent rating of them. In order to be responsive to these challenges, IRMA will update its auditor guidance in 2021 and the Unki mine will have these requirements assessed during its surveillance audit, a process which will occur within 18 months of today’s release. Such learning and adjustment was expected in the first years of assessing mines against the IRMA Standard, and those mines that have stepped into the process during this early phase have allowed IRMA to learn and improve for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Anglo American has long been engaged with IRMA, and for close to a decade has served on IRMA’s Board of Directors and has helped inform and support the creation of IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining. The Unki mine was also the site of a field test of an early draft of the IRMA Standard.

“Anglo American’s leadership has been pivotal to the success of IRMA,” said Aimee Boulanger, IRMA’s Executive Director. “During the ten-year process of crafting IRMA’s Standard, they did not shy away from difficult conversations about how to best measure responsible mining in a way that is at once practicable for the industry and meets the expectations of civil society. Now, they are sharing the results of their own operations as measured against the world’s most robust definition of responsible mining. We commend their continued leadership in advancing IRMA’s vision.”