Call to Action

An Invitation for State Owned Enterprise to Engage

Advancing Responsible Practices in the Mining of Transition Minerals in Africa

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) seeks to create value for greater environmental and social responsibility where mining happens around the world. With particular awareness of the significant role that African nations serve, providing raw materials to global supply chains for energy transition, we are increasing our outreach to all stakeholder sectors in Africa. With this intention, we warmly invite a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) which is engaged in the production of transition minerals to demonstrate leadership by becoming the first SOE to undergo an independent third-party IRMA audit.

IRMA seeks to deepen engagement and service in Africa, to support improving practices at the top of the supply chain of materials supporting energy transition. We would like to provide direct support and collaboration for an SOE to participate in an IRMA audit and to deepen outreach to affected communities and workers. As this endeavor would be the first such engagement for an SOE, IRMA is committed to a process of collaborative learning and active support for the SOE’s engagement. We will share global market expectations for best practices, demonstrate how IRMA’s system may be used to support continuing improvement, and make connections between the SOE and diverse stakeholders in the private sector, civil society and labor unions.

IRMA is widely recognized as the most credible best-practice standard and auditing system globally for operating mines. The IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining is used for independent third-party audits of environmental and social performance at industrial-scale mines, bringing market recognition to mines demonstrating commitment to improving practices and driving more equitable benefit sharing for citizens in resource-rich countries.

Mine sites use the IRMA Standard as a comprehensive roadmap for responsible mine management. The Standard provides detailed coverage across 26 Chapters including stakeholder engagement, human rights due diligence, labor rights, environmental and social impact assessment and management, benefit sharing, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity. Independent-third party audits of a site’s performance against the IRMA Standard serve as tools for stakeholder engagement, transparent site-level reporting, and continuous improvement.

IRMA is currently scaling, with engagement of 100 sites and 78 mining companies, covering 29 countries, six continents, and over 50 minerals. In Africa, IRMA audits are currently underway in South Africa, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zimbabwe, and sites are engaged in self-assessment in South Africa, Liberia, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Africa holds vast reserves of cobalt, manganese, platinum, and other transition minerals that are key for the energy transition. Increased demand for these minerals comes with increasing scrutiny and responsibility as governments, NGOs, affected communities, workers, and EV, renewable energy, and other purchasing companies call for more responsible management of the mining sector. We invite an SOE to respond to this call and demonstrate leadership by engaging in IRMA.

Interested companies may reach out to to inquire about IRMA engagement and available support. The Call to Action is also available for download as a pdf.

Formed in 2006 in response to global demand for social and environmental responsibility in the mining sector, IRMA offers the only third-party assessment of industrial-scale mine sites within a system that is equally governed by the mining sector, purchasing companies, affected communities, NGOs, organized labor, and the finance sector.