Africa

Amandelbult PGM Complex. Credit: Anglo AmericanAmandelbult PGM Complex. Credit: Anglo AmericanAudits

Audits released for Anglo’s Amandelbult, Mototolo, Unki

Two Anglo American mines are first South African operations audited against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining

Amandelbult and Mototolo achieve IRMA 50 and IRMA 75, respectively
Register for the 27 Feb webinar Q&A to discuss the audits

16 Feb 2024 – Today the Initiative for Responsible Mining (IRMA) released the audits of Anglo American’s Amandelbult and Mototolo PGM operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. Independent audit firm ERM-CVS assessed Amandelbult at IRMA 50 and Mototolo at IRMA 75 when measuring their performance against the Standard’s best practice social and environmental criteria.

IRMA also released the surveillance (interim) audit for Anglo’s Unki PGM operation in Zimbabwe, as conducted by audit firm SCS Global. In 2021, Unki achieved IRMA 75 in IRMA’s first-ever on-site audit; a surveillance audit is a more limited check-in, so it does not result in further detailed scoring but rather provides updates on performance.

IRMA 50 or 75 means that ERM-CVS verified that the operations at least substantially met all 40 critical requirements of the IRMA Standard, as well as at least 50 or 75% of the Standard’s criteria in each of the four principle areas: social responsibility, environmental responsibility, business integrity and planning for positive legacies. The full audit reports are available on the Amandelbult and Mototolo audit pages, as well as Unki’s surveillance report, on the IRMA website.

“The information stakeholders need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention.”

“This report demonstrates that mines can point to transparent, independent evaluations of their environmental and social performance,” said Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA. “Through detailed IRMA audit reports, mining companies, communities and companies that purchase mined materials can gain the information they need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention — at specific mines.”

As the IRMA Standard is recognized and adopted around the globe, these audits are first steps in a deepening dialogue between mining companies and those affected by their operations. Because the process is still evolving, IRMA cautions that the initial results should be reviewed and interpreted accordingly.

“These mines began audits during the early Covid years. The timeline was delayed by travel challenges, and then the company’s decision to use the optional corrective action period to make improvements. The public has long awaited opportunity to review the information included here, and we applaud Anglo American for volunteering these mines for audit against such comprehensive criteria.” Ms. Boulanger went on to say, “That said, the IRMA Standard is relatively new for companies that volunteer to be audited, and even our accredited auditors are still learning. The same is true for community members and workers who are interviewed as part of the process, some of whom may not yet feel comfortable engaging. So, the Amandelbult and Mototolo audits need to be read with this in mind.”

The report also provides an honest accounting of IRMA’s own progress as the Standard and 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,” Ms. Boulanger said. “We’ll help them communicate with the company to better understand its performance, and with the auditors on any issues they feel were overlooked in the review. This is a cornerstone of our own commitment to transparency. We invite anyone who has criticisms of our work to join us in making it better. Finding ways to improve is built into our system — and a measure of its success.”

The IRMA Standard is being updated in 2024; input on how to improve the IRMA Standard is welcomed. Chapters in the IRMA Standard include requirements on protection to human rights, water resources, worker health and safety, biodiversity, Indigenous free, prior, informed consent and more.

“Committing to an IRMA audit reflects our desire to improve and our openness to dialogue”

Craig Miller, CEO of Anglo American Platinum said, “This significant milestone at Mototolo and Amandelbult mines in our overall adoption of IRMA enables us to promote transparency and best practice in sustainability, while adding value to our global customers by helping them to meet increasing expectations for responsibly mined materials in an efficient and credible way. With Unki mine achieving IRMA 75 in 2021, and now the achievements of Mototolo with IRMA 75 and Amandelbult with IRMA 50, we are continuing to make great progress towards our sustainable mining plan target of having all our mining operations assured against a recognised responsible mining standard by 2025.”

Including Amandelbult, Mototolo and Unki, 19 industrial-scale mines worldwide are within the IRMA independent assessment system. 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. Following the release of the initial audit, a shorter surveillance audit checks on the mine’s performance. Three years after the initial audit, the operation is fully audited again (Note: The first mines audited in the IRMA system have had extensions to this timeline due to Covid delays and launch-phase learning; updated full reviews will be required to maintain or increase achievement scores.)

The independent IRMA system is the only global mining standard that provides equal power to the public sector (communities and Indigenous rights holders, mine workers, and environmental and human rights advocates) alongside the private sector (mining companies, mined materials purchasers and investors).

Learn more at the Feb 27th Webinar Q&A

  • REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/IRMAwebinar-A-M
  • Tuesday, 27 Feb, 4pm South Africa time (UTC+2)
  • Speakers:
    IRMA Executive Director Aimee Boulanger,
    IRMA Africa Regional Lead Davidzo Muchawaya,
    IRMA Assurance Director Michelle Smith, and
    Anglo American Platinum Head of Sustainability Stephen Bullock
  • A discussion and Q&A about the meaning of the audit results, and how the increased transparency an IRMA audit provides can be used by stakeholders to improve the operation.
  • All registrants will receive a recording.

 For More Information:

  • Alan Septoff, +1.301.202.1445, aseptoff@responsiblemining.net
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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
https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-public-announcements-and-stakeholder-feedback

https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-stakeholder-feedback

feedback@scsglobalservices.com

QR code for SCS-IRMA-feedback

IRMA will publish the completed audit report at https://responsiblemining.net. 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 www.scsglobalservices.com.

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 www.responsiblemining.net.

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GCO operation. Credit: ErametGCO operation. Credit: ErametAudits

On-site audit announced for Eramet’s GCO

Feedback requested during the on-site, independent audit under the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining of Eramet’s Grande Côte Operations (GCO), Departments of Tivaouane (Thies Region) and Kébémer (Louga Region) Senegal

This coming January, SCS Global Services (SCS) auditors will be on-site as part of the ongoing third-party, independent audit of Eramet’s Grande Côte Operations (GCO) mineral sands operation to evaluate its performance under the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining.

The audit began in May 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.

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 GCO 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). 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
https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-public-announcements-and-stakeholder-feedback

https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-stakeholder-feedback

feedback@scsglobalservices.com

QR code for SCS-IRMA-feedback

IRMA will publish the completed audit report at https://responsiblemining.net. 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 this document as pdf in English or French.

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

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 www.responsiblemining.net.

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Anglo American MogalakwenaAnglo American MogalakwenaBlog

Mogalakwena Mine Assessment and Onsite Audit

Note: This ERM-CVS announcement was originally posted on their website in English and Sepedi.

ERM CVS announces an independent, third-party assessment of ’s Mogalakwena Platinum Ore Mine in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The assessment will measure the Mine against the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining.

ERM CVS, an IRMA-approved certification body, will carry out an on-site assessment from:

28 November – 5 December 2023

All stakeholders (community members, workers, and other affected or interested parties) are invited to submit written comments to ERM CVS about the environmental and social performance of the Mogalakwena Mine. Comments should particularly focus on how Mogalakwena Mine’s performance compares with the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. Stakeholders may also contact ERM CVS if they would like to be interviewed as part of the assessment process. When possible, interviews with local stakeholders will be scheduled to take place during the on-site assessment period and this may be via telephone, video-conference, or in-person.

Please register as a stakeholder to receive more information about the Mogalakwena Mine IRMA assessment as it becomes available. To register, submit questions or comments, or request to be interviewed as part of the assessment process, please contact ERM CVS, details below. Comments will be kept confidential upon request.

Email: post@ermcvs.com
Telephone:  +27 11 798 4300
WhatsApp: +27 87 195 2993

Post: ERM CVS
Postnet Suite 90,
Private Bag X12,
Tokai, Cape Town,
South Africa, 7966

ERM CVS is an IRMA-approved certification body with head offices in London, England.  For more information about ERM CVS go to www.ermcvs.com

For more information on the IRMA mine site assessment process, see: https://responsiblemining.net/what-we-do/assessment/.

If you have concerns about the IRMA mine site assessment process, or the requirements in the IRMA Standard, access IRMA’s Issues Resolution System on the IRMA website: https://responsiblemining.net/what-you-can-do/complaints-and-feedback/

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Eramet - GCO minerals sands. Source: GCO websiteEramet - GCO minerals sands. Source: GCO websiteAfrica

Eramet commits GCO to IRMA independent assessment

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce that the French miner Eramet has committed to a third-party independent assessment of its Grande Côte Opérations (GCO) site against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. GCO is a Senegalese subsidiary of the Eramet Group that specializes in the recovery of ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile, and zircon. The mine and its two processing plants have been in service since 2014.

In making its own announcement, Eramet declared “After this first external audit in Senegal, Eramet aims to engage all its mining sites in this independent verification process by 2027.”

SCS Global Services, an IRMA-approved certification body, will be carrying out the assessment, which includes a desk review (stage 1) followed by an onsite audit (stage 2). After SCS’s draft audit report is reviewed by IRMA and GCO, GCO may release the report or has the option to take up to twelve months to implement a Corrective Action Plan before the audit firm assigns a Performance Level.

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can sign up to receive updates about the GCO 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.

Mine site stakeholders are invited to submit comments to SCS Global Services regarding the social and environmental performance of the GCO mine (in particular, how the performance of the mine site measures against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining).

Stakeholders of the GCO mine may also contact SCS Global Services if they are interested in being interviewed as part of the assessment process.

Stakeholder comments and expressions of interest in being interviewed as part of the audit process can also be submitted by email or mail to:

SCS Global Services
2000 Powell St. #600 Emeryville, California, USA 94608
feedback@scsglobalservices.com

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

For more information

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Blog

IRMA at Indaba

Raising Standards for Mining

— Experiences Using IRMA —

Join Us for Breakfast and Dialogue in Cape Town

9 Feb 2023 | 08:00 a.m. – 09:15 a.m.
SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl
23 Buitengracht St., Cape Town

Join us for a breakfast discussion with public and private sector representatives about how they are using the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) to improve environmental and social management in the mining sector.

From critical materials for the energy transition and electric vehicles to materials for jewelry, electronics, household goods, and beyond, IRMA is a tool governed by and with benefits for all sectors.

Governed equally by NGOs, affected communities, labor unions, mining companies, purchasing companies, and investors, IRMA is used to conduct site-level assessments, increase transparency through independent third-party audits and reporting, and improve legal frameworks.

Our Panelists Include:

  • Kristi Disney Bruckner, IRMA Senior Policy Advisor
  • Sarah Makumbe, Anglo American Responsible Mining Program Manager 
  • Nyaradzo Mutonhori, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) Programmes Manager
  • Vuyisile Ncube, Earthworks Making Clean Energy Clean, Just, and Equitable Advocate

Please join us for this informal breakfast. It is open to all and free to attend, but space is limited!

Please RSVP to reserve your spot by replying or emailing kvissers@responsiblemining.net


Presented by IRMA, the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance

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