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Albemarle Atacama Audit Report Released

Albemarle’s Salar de Atacama became the first lithium mine in the world to complete an independent audit of their performance against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The audit can be found on the Salar Plant, Salar de Atacama (Albemarle) mine assessment page, the IRMA press release is in english and español, and you can download an audit packet including the audit itself and supporting materials (español).

IRMA’s Executive Director Aimee Boulanger and Assurance Director Michelle Smith will hold a webinar Q&A about IRMA audits on Wednesday 21 June at 11am Chile time (EDT). The webinar will be simultaneously interpreted in Spanish. Register here.

Albemarle’s Salar de Atacama operation scored at the IRMA 50 performance level (español), meaning the independent audit firm ERM-CVS verified that the mine met all critical requirements of the IRMA Standard, as well as at least 50% of the Standard’s criteria in four areas: social responsibility, environmental responsibility, business integrity and planning for positive legacies.

Salar de Atacama joins 12 other industrial-scale mines worldwide that are undergoing independent audits against the IRMA Standard in 2023. After an initial self-assessment, a participating mine engages a third-party audit firm — trained and approved by IRMA — to conduct a detailed independent evaluation, including on-site visits to the mine and nearby communities.

It’s important to note that IRMA audits do not yield “certification,” nor do they declare at what point a site becomes a “responsible mine.” The IRMA system is built to have more transparent conversation on the impacts, at a table where civil society and labor have voice equal to the private sector, and which seeks to create greater value to reduce harm.

In doing this audit, Albemarle has volunteered to be measured against a standard more rigorous, requiring more public engagement, and more transparent sharing of results than any other global mining standard. It is an act of leadership and commitment to increasing dialogue across diverse stakeholder sectors and with Indigenous rights holders to engage in this process.

It’s important to note that the audit report also provide an honest accounting for IRMA’s own progress as the Standard and its assessment process continue to mature. “If the results don’t fully reflect the experience of communities, Indigenous rights holders or other affected groups, we want to hear from them.” — Aimee Boulanger.


For More Information

Webinar Q&A

  • Wednesday, 21 Jun, 11am Chile time (EDT)
  • Speakers: IRMA Executive Director Aimee Boulanger, and Assurance Director Michelle Smith
  • Topics include: The IRMA process, how this independent audit occurred, how stakeholders can use this audit report
  • Register here