Salar de Atacama (SQM) Commences Assessment

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) announces the commencement of a third-party independent assessment of SQM’s Salar de Atacama site against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The site produces a lithium-rich brine and potash. The site is located inside SQM’s mining concession area in the Salar de Atacama sector, in the commune of San Pedro de Atacama, El Loa Province, Antofagasta Region, Chile.

ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM-CVS), an IRMA-approved certification body, will be carrying out the assessment, which includes a desk review (stage 1) followed by an on-site audit (stage 2).

Scope of the Assessment

During the assessment the impacts and issues associated with the site will be reviewed, and each operation and facility will be visited. The assessment will include brine extraction, concentration, and waste disposal areas at the Salar de Atacama site. For more on assessment scope, see the Salar de Atacama (SQM) assessment page on the IRMA website.

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Stakeholders are invited to submit comments to ERM-CVS on the social and environmental performance of the SQM’s Salar de Atacama operations (in particular, how the site measures against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining).

Stakeholders may also contact ERM-CVS if they are interested in being interviewed as part of the assessment process. Stakeholder comments and expressions of interest in being interviewed as part of the audit process should be submitted by email or mail to:

ERM Certification and Verification Services


Mail: Exchequer Court, 33 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8A

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can visit the Mines Under Assessment page of IRMA’s website to view up-to-date information on all mine site assessments, including the SQM Salar de Atacama site (e.g., find out the timing of the stage 2 on-site visit, access the audit results, etc.).

Please forward this announcement, and feel free to contact ERM-CVS directly to provide names and contact information for other stakeholders who may be interested in knowing about and participating in the Salar de Atacama (SQM) assessment process.

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