Monthly Archives: November 2023

COP28 logoBlog


IRMA is participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, UAE as an Observer and panelist in multiple events, represented by IRMA Law & Policy Director, Kristi Disney Bruckner.

Events include:

5 December 10:00–12:30 GST
Action Arena – Al Hur Room, Blue Zone
Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Industry Action Event
Taking Stock of Climate Action on Industry and Energy: Accelerating Systems Transformations

This event, organized by the United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions, Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, and World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) will focus on “the transformative levers within the energy and industry sectors, aligned with the Energy and Industry 2030 Breakthroughs and the Sharm el Sheik Adaptation Agenda of the Marrakesh Partnership. This event will provide a platform for stakeholders to collaborate, share insights, and create strategies to drive these essential changes, charting a course toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

IRMA will share a Call to Action, inviting State Owned Enterprises and others to engage in advancing responsible mining of transition minerals in Africa. As part of IRMA’s work to expand engagement across all sectors in Africa, we have partnered with the Climate Champions, with a focus on engaging an SOE in an IRMA audit and deepening outreach ot affected communities and workers. Contact us at to inquire about IRMA engagement and available support.

5 December 15:00–16:00 GST
Al Shaheen Room, Blue Zone
Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Implementation Lab
Enablers to Tripling Renewable Power Generation by 2030 Through a Just, Financed, and Equitable Transition

This event, organized by the African Export Import Bank, Global Renewables Alliance (GRA), IRMA, and Utilities for Net Zero Alliance, will launch a new report by GRA, the COP28 UAE Presidency, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) detailing how to increase renewable energy capacity to 11,000 GW by 2030, including:

  • Infrastructure and operation;
  • Policy and regulation;
  • Supply chain, skills, and capacities;
  • Scaling-up finance; and
  • Enhancing international collaboration.

The event will highlight linkages between these key enablers and parallel efforts from IRMA and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) regarding critical mineral supply chains, the African Export Import Bank regarding the scaling-up of finance, and the Utilities for Net Zero Alliance across all enablers.

5 December 16:15–17:45 GST
Science for Climate Action Pavilion, Blue Zone
Private Adaptation to Climate Change: The Case of the Mining Industry

This event, organized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Philanthropy Cortés Solari through MERI Foundation, and l’Université Côte d’Azur, features examples of adaptation responses of companies in the mining sector, as well as the importance of cooperation between the public, private, and civil society sectors to ensure private sector adaptation efforts.

The event will be livestreamed here as well as by the IPCC and WMO.

6 December 10:30–11:30 GST
Chez International Chamber of Commerce Pavilion, Blue Zone
Regional Approaches to Financing Just Transition

This event, organized by Ceres and Barclays, will “explore the regional aspects of a just transition and tailor financial strategies to diverse geographical needs. Global banks must account for local nuances to ensure an equitable shift towards a sustainable economy and this panel hopes to understand what dialogues banks should engage in with clients concerning regional just transition aspects, including the influence of local communities on banks and their portfolio companies, and evaluate the just transition metrics financial institutions can utilize to incorporate regional considerations into their clean energy transition product and service offerings.” RSVP to Ceres is encouraged here and anyone with a Blue Zone pass may attend.

Access COP28 UAE updates and get involved here. View live streams here.

Unki on-site audit discussion. Credit: IRMABlog

IRMA: a deep dive session for mining companies

On Thursday, December 14th, IRMA is hosting a dedicated webinar for mining companies to learn more about the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance.

Given our service to multiple sectors, we’re aware investors and companies who purchase mined materials are increasingly asking for mines to be independently assessed in IRMA system. Just as we seek to provide value to these sectors, as well as civil society, communities and labor unions, we’re equally committed to serving the mining sector.

This will be an open and candid discussion between mining company representatives, purchasing companies engaged in IRMA, and the key IRMA Secretariat staff who are dedicated to serving the mining sector. In particular, we’ll highlight the tools and training we’re developing to help mining companies better understand the standard and our assessment process.

We’ll also address common questions, hesitations, doubts and even frustrations, all with the aim of ensuring IRMA is responsive and useful to the mining sector.

Our draft agenda is as follows:

  • An introduction to IRMA, including addressing some of the most common questions we receive from mining companies
  • Short presentations from representatives from purchasing and finance, sharing their motivations for participating
  • Insights from mining companies who have undertaken third-party assessments, sharing their experience and learnings
  • A Q&A session with attendees

Register here for the session, taking place from 10:30AM – 12PM Eastern on December 14th. In case you’re not able to make this date, please register in any case, as a recording will be shared.

Cover of IRMA Draft Standard 2.0 Proposed Normative Requirements for Exploration, Development and Mineral ProcessingStandards

Std 2.0 and Exploration, Development & Processing

The IRMA Draft Standard for Responsible Mining and Mineral Processing 2.0 incorporates the draft IRMA Standard for Responsible Mineral Development and Exploration (the ‘IRMA-Ready’ Standard – Draft v1.0 December 2021), the draft IRMA Standard for Responsible Minerals Processing (Draft v1.0 June 2021), and the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining 1.0 (2018) into one integrated standard that covers all phases and types of mineral development activities.

The 2023 proposed revisions for version 2.0 are meant to apply at any phase of the mineral development life cycle (e.g., exploration, project development, permitting, construction, mining and processing operations, reclamation and closure, post-closure).

To highlight and clarify those additions, we have released a summary of the draft Normative Requirements for those phases — where IRMA requirements are modified to govern stages of exploration, development or mineral processing.  The IRMA Draft Standard 2.0 Normative Requirements for each chapter are provided and discussed in Appendix A.

In the context of this guidance document, a normative requirement modifies a given IRMA requirement from the IRMA DRAFT Standard 2.0 for a specific phase, by either replacing or  supplementing the original text of this requirement. We use the terminology “normative requirements” here since they modify the elements that would actually be required and that auditors would measure against, not just guidance that helps to enrich or guide understanding of those requirements.

These Normative Requirements are part of the Draft Standard 2.0, so just as with the rest of the draft Standard, they are proposed and open for public comment until January 26, 2024.


Topic consultations for draft Standard 2.0

Over the next two months IRMA is hosting live, virtual consultations to discuss and comment on different topics covered by the Draft Standard for Responsible Mining and Mineral Processing 2.0. Facilitated by the IRMA Secretariat, these virtual meetings share what you need to know about the proposed changes and/or new areas in a specific topic inside the Standard (download or view specific chapters here). They will ask some guided questions where IRMA especially seeks feedback. And we encourage all comments — these Zoom sessions are meant to be inclusive and collaborative spaces for such discussion.

All consultations will be in English and last for 60 minutes. Registration is required, all times are UTC-0. Please register through the links provided below for any topics you might be interested in.

2023 2024
07 December 14:00-15:00
Water Management
10 January 09:00-10:00
Sector-specific: Mineral Processing
08 December 14:00-15:00
Gender Equality & Gender Protections
10 January 17:00-18:00
Sector-specific: Exploration and Development
11 December 14:00-15:00
Occupational Health & Safety
11 January 16:00-17:00
Sector-specific: Mining Companies
11 December 16:00-17:00
Waste & Materials Management (including tailings)
12 January 07:00-08:00
Water Management
12 December 14:00-15:00
GHG Emissions & Energy Consumption
12 January 14:00-15:00
Land & Soil Management
12 December 16:00-17:00
Indigenous Peoples & FPIC
15 January 07:00-08:00
Occupational Health & Safety
13 December 14:00-15:00
Management of Physical Stability (including tailings)
16 January 07:00-08:00
Waste and Materials Management (including tailings)
14 December 14:00-15:00
Planning, Financing Reclamation and Closure
18 January 07:00-08:00
Management of Physical Stability (including tailings)
18 December 14:00-15:00
Land Acquisition, Displacement, and Resettlement
19 January 07:00-08:00
GHG Emissions & Energy Consumption
Listening to CommunitiesAudits

Audit Community Engagement Learnings

For companies that depend on mined materials to make their products, any assessment of supply chain impacts must include a focus on the point where minerals are extracted from the earth.

There are various tools companies can use to better understand impacts at the point of extraction, including assessment of a specific mine’s performance against an established standard for responsible mining. The value of such an assessment depends on the quality of the standard and on the rigor and independence of the actual audit process. Among the diverse ways auditors assess a mine’s environmental and social impacts, one of the most crucial is direct engagement of communities and Indigenous rights holders.

Community members should have the opportunity to ask questions, to express concerns or outright opposition, and to learn firsthand how a mining company intends to address their needs and share the long-term benefits. People everywhere want a say in decisions that will shape their lives and they rightly expect their voices to be heard.

Over the past several years, as we’ve overseen an increasing number of independent audits, we’ve been exploring various approaches to better include communities living near mines in the process. We’re doing a great deal of testing and learning along the way, making small refinements and a few major course corrections, guided by insights from the six diverse constituencies who govern our initiative.

Supporting us in this effort is Mercedes-Benz Group AG, an IRMA member since 2020.

In 2022, Mercedes-Benz provided funding for IRMA to enhance and further explore how best to engage with mining communities. By implementing new practices and experimenting with alternative approaches to the auditing process, we’ve found ways to improve the community engagement already built into IRMA’s audit process.

The result of our collaboration is this report. It will guide our own practices as we continue to improve and, we hope, illustrate to all purchasers of mined materials — as well as mining companies, investors, regulators, other standards systems, NGOs and, of course, affected communities — how assessments in the industry might be strengthened, ultimately accelerating our common aim: to protect human rights and make mining more responsible.


Sibanye-Stillwater commits two operations to IRMA audit

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce that Sibanye-Stillwater has committed to third-party independent assessments of two of its platinum group metals (PGM) operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining: the Sibanye-Stillwater SA PGM Rustenburg Operations and the US (PGM) Operations. SA PGM Rustenburg Operations is located in the North West Province of South Africa and the US PGM Operations in the state of Montana.

ERM-CVS, an IRMA-approved independent audit firm, will be carrying out the assessment, which includes a desk review (stage 1) followed by an onsite audit (stage 2). After the ERM-CVS draft audit report is reviewed by IRMA and Sibanye-Stillwater, the company may release the report or has the option to take up to twelve months to implement corrective actions and be re-assessed before a final report is published and a Performance Level assigned.

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can sign up to receive updates about the Sibanye-Stillwater independent assessments (e.g., the timing of the stage 2 onsite visit, link to public summary of audit results). The Mines Under Assessment page of IRMA’s website will also provide up-to-date information on all assessments.

Members of the community, public officials, representatives of the workforce, or other organizations are invited to submit comments regarding how the mine site is managing their impacts to the environment including air, water, waste, greenhouse gases, and ecosystems; how the mine supports their workforce; and how the mine interacts with the surrounding community, and how it impacts the community, positively or negatively.

Interested parties may contact the independent audit firm, ERM-CVS, to share comments or to ask to be interviewed as part of the audit process. The audit firm can be reached by email at:

ERM Certification and Verification Services Limited

Please share this announcement, and feel free to contact ERM-CVS directly to provide names and contact information for other Sibanye-Stillwater stakeholders who may be interested in knowing about and participating in the mine site assessment process.

For more information


IRMA Secretariat statement re Kostenko tragedy

Statement of Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), regarding the tragic loss of life of 46 mine workers at ArcelorMittal’s Kostenko mine in Kazakhstan on Saturday, 28 October 2023.

ArcelorMittal has served on IRMA’s Board of Directors since 2015.

The heartbreaking disaster at ArcelorMittal’s Kostenko mine weighs heavily on me, our staff, and IRMA board members. IRMA’s vision is a world where the mining industry respects the human rights and aspirations of affected communities; provides safe, healthy and supportive workplaces; minimizes harm to the environment; and leaves positive legacies. Devastating loss of life, such as has occurred in Kazakhstan, brings into sharp focus the urgency of bringing this vision into reality. At too many mine sites around the world, workers labor under unsafe conditions—and this urgently needs to change. IRMA exists to help create this change.

In coming weeks, IRMA’s labor sector leaders will meet with ArcelorMittal representatives. IRMA, as an organization, won’t take a further stance on this issue until informed by the outcomes of conversations between IndustriALL, USW and ArcelorMittal, as these are the organizations best set to make a recommendation to the IRMA Board of Directors.

IRMA is a system seeking to drive more responsible mining practices around the world, responsive to the values of six governing houses, including labor unions, mining companies, NGOs, affected communities, investors and companies who purchase mined materials. These six houses equally govern IRMA’s multistakeholder system.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost at this ArcelorMittal mine site. May our work together prevent future losses of life and ensure greater welfare for people and the lands they rely on.