Monthly Archives: November 2022

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Why we work for IRMA

At the end of October, the IRMA Secretariat had our first in-person annual planning retreat since the onset of the COVID pandemic. At the retreat’s opening, those in attendance shared with one another why we work for IRMA. Below we share those reasons with you.

“Industrialized societies used mined materials every day but most people don’t know much about mining, the places these materials come from, and the impacts of extraction. Among the people who know the issues well, there is deeply broken trust between companies and affected communities. It’s meaningful to work with diverse stakeholders and indigenous rights holders committed to addressing these issues in a respectful way and working together to reduce harm.” — Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director

“I work for IRMA because in a time of peak political will to improve environmental and social performance in the mining sector, the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining provides a detailed roadmap informed by over a decade of input across sectors. The IRMA Standard is an excellent tool for assessing and improving legal frameworks as well as mine site performance, promoting the level of protections and transparency so greatly needed in this era of energy transition.” — Kristi Disney Bruckner, Senior Policy Advisor

“Since the beginning of my career, I have believed business—when managed responsibly—can have substantial, positive impacts in the places it operates, from source point to end consumer. IRMA provides a clear path for companies along the mineral value chain to perform at a higher level and align with the expectations of customers and civil society alike.” — Rebecca Burton, Director of Corporate Engagement

“The IRMA Standards have the potential to bridge the gaps between mining policies and the demands of various stakeholders impacted by resource extraction. As a part of the IRMA Secretariat, I have the unique opportunity to work together with some of the most passionate people to reach the full potential of the IRMA mission and vision in a manner that gives an equal voice to all stakeholders.” — Adan Olivares Castro, Special Projects Coordinator for Latin America

“As traditional means of protecting communities and the environment are increasingly hamstrung by bad faith actors, I believe that IRMA is the best way to help the most people and the ecosystems we all rely upon by encouraging mining companies to operate more responsibly — and showing them how.” — Alan Septoff, Information Systems & Communications Director

“We live in a world that requires metals to address today’s needs and provide solutions for tomorrow. I am inspired every day to have the opportunity to support a holistic and honest assessment of the impact of mining on people and the planet, and I am humbled with the opportunity to set expectations for best practice mining that honors the diverse interests and rights of stakeholders.” — Michelle Smith, Director of Standards & Assurance

“As the demand for mined materials and natural resources increase, the IRMA team is navigating a better way for the mining industry and finding solutions for best practices which includes the critical work of reducing impacts and harm to affected communities and the environment. This is approached with great passion, intelligence and respect for all our stakeholders, and I am proud to be part of making such meaningful and positive changes for the world.” — Kristen Vissers, Program Coordinator

Guidance signGuidance signAudits

Updated financial assurance guidance

In response to practical difficulties obtaining financial surety for mine closure and post closure as defined by the IRMA Standard, IRMA has modified which is a critical requirement in the IRMA standard and must be substantially or fully met in order to achieve IRMA 50 or higher.

With this modification, the requirement for “financial surety instruments” — which by definition exclude corporate guarantees and self-bonding — is replaced with “financial assurance mechanisms.” This allows a broader range of acceptable means to guarantee the costs associated with third-part mine closure and post-closure.

The IRMA Secretariat made this change with the concurrence of the IRMA Board and external expert feedback. This is a temporary adaptation that will be reconsidered in the planned revision of the IRMA Standard expected in late 2023.

The background and challenges for this temporary modification and our plan going forward are presented in this guidance document, along with specific details on how this modification is to be interpreted by mine sites, independent auditors, and other interested stakeholders.