Monthly Archives: January 2024


ArcelorMittal commits Andrade operation to IRMA audit

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce that ArcelorMittal has committed to the third-party independent assessment of its Andrade iron operation in Brasil’s State of Minas Gerais against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining.

SCS Global, 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 SCS draft audit report is reviewed by IRMA and ArcelorMittal, 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 Andrade independent assessment (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, SCS Global, to share comments or to ask to be interviewed as part of the audit process. The audit firm can be reached via its webform.

Please share this announcement, and feel free to contact SCS Global directly to provide names and contact information for other Andrade stakeholders who may be interested in knowing about and participating in the mine site assessment process.

For more information

  • For general information on the IRMA mine site assessment process, visit the IRMA website.
  • IRMA: ArcelorMittal Andrade Mine independent assessment status page
  • If you would like more information on how the audit of the Andrade operations are conducted against the IRMA standard — contact IRMA’s Director of Assurance: Michelle Smith,
Mural at COP28. Credit: IRMA/Kristi Disney BrucknerMural at COP28. Credit: IRMA/Kristi Disney BrucknerBlog


IRMA participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) held in Dubai, UAE from 30 November to 12 December 2023. As an admitted UNFCCC Observer for this and future COPs, IRMA participated in COP28 to engage across sectors on issues of importance to our mission and vision, including addressing environmental and social impacts of mining for the energy transition.

An IRMA op-ed leading up to COP28 detailed the need for advocates and policymakers at COP28 and beyond to act quickly to implement robust environmental and social standards for mining, noting that meeting mineral demands for the energy transition requires responsible practices that emphasize transparency, industry-wide standards, and engagement.

This post summarizes IRMA’s participation at COP28, represented by our Law and Policy Director, Kristi Disney Bruckner.

What is COP28?

COP28 was the 28th annual meeting of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP). The COP meets every year, bringing together governments from almost every country in the world in a multilateral decision-making forum to act on climate. COP28 focused on implementation of the Paris Agreement, include limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, adaptation to climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Over 100,000 delegates participated in COP28, making it the largest COP to date. Delegates included member states (Parties to the UNFCCC), Indigenous Peoples, scientists, journalists, youth, business leaders, philanthropy, investors, lawyers, academics, and a wide range of other experts.

What was the significance of COP28?

COP28 was significant for many reasons and led to multiple outcomes and commitments. The first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement took place at COP28. The Global Stocktake is an assessment of collective progress of Parties to meet Paris Agreement objectives. It indicated Parties are not on track to meet their 1.5 degree target, thus more ambitious action is needed, now. Following a debate around phasing out fossil fuels, Parties agreed in the Global Stocktake to “transition away from” fossil fuels. Parties launched a loss and damage fund for affected communities facing climate impacts. They agreed to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency improvements by 2030. Parties were encouraged to develop more ambitious, economy-wide emission reduction targets that cover all greenhouse gases, sectors, and categories, aligned with the 1.5 degree Celsius limit. These are to be incorporated into national climate pledges, referred to as Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, by 2025.

On the topic of mining and the energy transition, UN Secretary General António Guterres remarked at the 2nd December G77 + China COP28 Leaders’ Summit that:

“The extraction of critical minerals for the clean energy revolution — from wind farms to solar panels and battery manufacturing — must be done in a sustainable, fair and just way. Demand for these minerals is set to increase almost fourfold by 2030.

At my Climate Ambition Summit, I heard repeated calls from G77 leaders for their countries and communities holding these minerals to fully benefit with maximum local added value. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past with a systematic exploitation of developing countries reduced to the production of basic raw materials.”

The UN Secretary General then announced that he is establishing a Panel on Critical Energy Transition Materials that will “bring together governments, international organizations, industry and civil society to develop common and voluntary principles to guide extractive industries in the years ahead in the name of justice and sustainability.” IRMA will continue to engage with UN leaders, stakeholders, and Indigenous rights holders to inform this initiative and promote the best practices in the IRMA Standard and system.

IRMA Participation

As IRMA’s representative at COP, Kristi spoke at multiple events, including:

  • Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Industry Action Event organized by the UN High-Level Climate Champions, Marrakech Partnership, and World Business Council on Sustainable Development, focused 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.” The event provided “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.”
  • 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, launched 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. The panel highlighted IRMA’s work across sectors to improve environmental and social standards in transition mineral supply chains.
  • Private Adaptation to Climate Change: The Case of the Mining Industry, organized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), World Meteorological Organization, Philanthropy Cortés Solari through MERI Foundation, and l’Université Côte d’Azur, featured 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.
  • COP28 Climate FinanceRegional Approaches to Financing Just Transition, organized by Ceres and Barclays, explored the need for regional approaches to a just transition and tailored financial strategies for diverse geographical needs to ensure an equitable shift towards a sustainable economy. The panel considered impacts on local communities and Indigenous rights holders and metrics financial institutions can utilize.

IRMA was featured in the UN High-Level Climate Champions Top of the COP Newsletter, noting IRMA’s Call to Action inviting a state-owned enterprise that produces transition minerals to become the first to engage in an independent IRMA audit.

IRMA also participated in meetings organized by Indigenous rights holders, NGOs, business organizations, mining companies, investors, foundations, governments, voluntary standards, law associations, academic institutions, and beyond, expanding IRMA’s network and deepening relationships across sectors.

COP28 no more stolen land

Balama Graphite operation in Mozambique. Credit: Syrah ResourcesBalama Graphite operation in Mozambique. Credit: Syrah ResourcesAudits

On-site audit announced for Syrah’s Balama mine

Feedback requested during the on-site, independent audit under the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining of Syrah’s Balama Graphite Operation, Balama District, Mozambique

This coming January and February, SCS Global Services (SCS) auditors will be conducting on-site third-party, independent audit of Syrah’s Balama Graphite Operation to evaluate its performance under the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining.

The audit began in September 2023 with a desktop review of documents provided by the mine. This next on-site phase provides all affected stakeholders the opportunity to give feedback on the mine’s environmental, health, safety, and community performance. Feedback is welcome from December 15, 2023 until February 15, 2024.

During the on-site part of the audit the auditors will ask local stakeholders, including community members and organizations, public officials, and non-management mine workers to participate in interviews or meetings, or to provide information using other means including email or on-line. SCS will use stakeholder comments to help determine how Balama Graphite Operation performs relative to the IRMA Standard.

Please contact SCS if you would like to provide your views. You can do so by interview or in writing. Interviews can take place in person, or virtually (telephone or videoconference), until February 15th. Use the links, QR code, or email below to contact SCS to request an interview, ask questions, or provide comments. Commenters’ identities and remarks are kept confidential upon request.

Online Comment Form or Email Scan QR Code to Comment

QR code for SCS-IRMA-feedback

IRMA will publish the completed audit report at The report will explain how SCS scored the mine site against the requirements of the 26 chapters of the IRMA Standard, and why. SCS will assign scores for each chapter. After the report is published, stakeholders may still comment on the mine’s performance to help guide the operation’s improvement as it moves through the IRMA 3-year audit cycle.

You can also view a pdf of this announcement in Portuguese and English.

SCS is an IRMA-approved audit firm with head offices in Emeryville, California. For more information about SCS, please visit

The IRMA Standard is the world’s most comprehensive mining standard for industrial-scale mines and the only one equally governed by all stakeholders: mining companies, mineral purchasers, investors, organized labor, communities, and civil society NGOs. Mine site verification under the IRMA Standard is voluntary. For more information on the IRMA Standard requirements and certification, visit