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Albemarle Atacama Audit release webinar

On 21 June, the day after the release the audit report of Albemarle’s Planta Salar de Atacama lithium operation, IRMA hosted a webinar to discuss the significance of the report, and the IRMA Standard and process through which the operation was independently assessed. In volunteering its operation for assessment and scoring IRMA 50, Albemarle submitted its practices to unprecedented public transparency, providing information that all stakeholders can use to decide what’s going well, and what may require more attention, at the mine.

The 1 hour webinar, which is about 1/2 presentation and 1/2 Q&A, is available below in English and Español.




Albemarle Atacama Audit thumbnailAlbemarle Atacama Audit thumbnailAudits

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.


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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

IRMA seeks audit firms

IRMA is growing as more companies commit to third-party audits that independently assess their mining-related operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. To accommodate this growth, IRMA is seeking to expand the number of audit firms (certification bodies) that provide independent audits against the IRMA Standard in line with IRMA assurance requirements.

Interested bodies may apply anytime to become approved. IRMA has partnered with Assurance Services International (ASI) to manage the approval process, oversee performance of approved bodies and to formalize its oversight program more generally. The approval process includes a remote document review and a head office assessment against IRMA requirements.

Following approval, ASI will witness a sample of on-site mine site audits and carry out head office surveillance assessments. The IRMA Secretariat will compile regular performance reviews to ensure approved audit firms meet the defined expectations.

We are grateful to IRMA’s inaugural audit program partners — SCS Global Services and ERM Certification and Verification Services — as we expand our capacity.

To apply, and get more information on the approval process and the underlying requirements, visit the IRMA website under Auditor Resources

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Updated financial assurance guidance

In response to practical difficulties obtaining financial surety for mine closure and post closure as defined by the IRMA Standard, IRMA has modified which is a critical requirement in the IRMA standard and must be substantially or fully met in order to achieve IRMA 50 or higher.

With this modification, the requirement for “financial surety instruments” — which by definition exclude corporate guarantees and self-bonding — is replaced with “financial assurance mechanisms.” This allows a broader range of acceptable means to guarantee the costs associated with third-part mine closure and post-closure.

The IRMA Secretariat made this change with the concurrence of the IRMA Board and external expert feedback. This is a temporary adaptation that will be reconsidered in the planned revision of the IRMA Standard expected in late 2023.

The background and challenges for this temporary modification and our plan going forward are presented in this guidance document, along with specific details on how this modification is to be interpreted by mine sites, independent auditors, and other interested stakeholders.

Livent Fenix Lithium Mine. Credit: LiventLivent Fenix Lithium Mine. Credit: LiventAudits

Onsite audit for Livent Fenix Lithium Mine coming soon

This announcement was posted by SCS Global Services in local press and the community 30 days in advance of the on-site audit as required by the IRMA Assessment process.

  IRMA logo

On-site, independent audit under the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining
Livent Fenix Lithium Mine, Salar del Hombre Muerto, Catamarca, Argentina

Between November 28 and December 2, 2022, SCS Global Services (SCS) will commence an independent audit of Livent’s Fenix lithium operation to evaluate its performance under the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining.  IRMA is a voluntary assessment system that provides a set of best practice standards and participatory stakeholder engagement requirements created to improve mining operations’ environmental and social performance. Livent (NYSE: LTHM) is an IRMA member.

The third-party, independent audit provides stakeholders, including community members, workers, organized labor, government representatives, and other interested parties, the opportunity to give feedback on the mine’s environmental, health, safety, and community performance.  SCS will use stakeholder comments to help determine how the Livent Fenix operation performs relative to the IRMA Standard.

Stakeholders are invited to submit written comments to coincide with the on-site audit.  Stakeholders may also contact SCS if they would like to be interviewed.  Interviews will take place virtually (telephone or videoconference) or in person, considering Covid-19 precautions.  Stakeholder comments, questions, and interview requests can be made through the link below; commenters’ identities and remarks are kept confidential upon request.


Upon completion of the Livent Fenix audit, IRMA will publish the independent audit results and present an overall achievement score: IRMA Transparency, IRMA 50, IRMA 75, or IRMA 100.  Only mines achieving IRMA 100 are “certified” under the IRMA Standard.

SCS is an IRMA-approved certification body 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

Livent Fenix Lithium Mine. Credit: LiventLivent Fenix Lithium Mine. Credit: LiventAudits

Auditoría independiente in situ según la Norma IRMA para la Minería Responsable Mina de litio de Livent en Fénix

Este anuncio fue publicado por SCS Global Services en la prensa local y en la comunidad 30 días antes de la auditoría in situ según lo exige el proceso de evaluación de IRMA.

  IRMA logo

Auditoría independiente in situ según la Norma IRMA para la Minería Responsable
Mina de litio de Livent en Fénix, Salar del Hombre Muerto, Catamarca, Argentina

Entre el 28 de noviembre y el 2 de diciembre de 2022, SCS Global Services (SCS) iniciará una auditoría independiente de la operación de litio Fénix de Livent para evaluar su desempeño según el Estándar para la Minería Responsable de la Iniciativa para el Aseguramiento de la Minería Responsable (IRMA). IRMA es un sistema de evaluación voluntaria que proporciona un conjunto de normas de mejores prácticas y requisitos de participación de las partes interesadas creados para mejorar el desempeño ambiental y social de las operaciones mineras. Livent (NYSE: LTHM) es miembro de IRMA.

La auditoría independiente de terceros ofrece a las partes interesadas, incluidos los miembros de la comunidad, los trabajadores, los sindicatos, los representantes del gobierno y otras partes interesadas, la oportunidad de dar su opinión sobre el desempeño ambiental, de salud, de seguridad y de la comunidad de la mina. SCS utilizará los comentarios de las partes interesadas para ayudar a determinar el rendimiento de la operación de Livent en Fénix en relación con la norma IRMA.
Se invita a las partes interesadas a presentar comentarios por escrito coincidiendo con la auditoría in situ. Las partes interesadas también pueden ponerse en contacto con el SCS si desean ser entrevistadas. Las entrevistas tendrán lugar de forma virtual (teléfono o videoconferencia) o en persona, teniendo en cuenta las precauciones de Covid-19. Los comentarios, las preguntas y las solicitudes de entrevista de las partes interesadas pueden hacerse a través del enlace que figura a continuación; la identidad y las observaciones de los comentaristas se mantendrán confidenciales si así se solicita.

Una vez finalizada la auditoría de Livent en Fénix, IRMA publicará los resultados de la auditoría independiente y presentará una puntuación global de logro: Transparencia IRMA, IRMA 50, IRMA 75 o IRMA 100. Sólo las minas que alcanzan el nivel IRMA 100 están “certificadas” por la norma IRMA.

SCS es un organismo de certificación aprobado por IRMA con sede en Emeryville, California. Para más información sobre SCS, visite

Acerca de IRMA
La Norma IRMA es la norma minera más completa del mundo para las minas a escala industrial y la única que se rige por igual por todas las partes interesadas: empresas mineras, compradores de minerales, inversores, trabajadores organizados, comunidades y ONG de la sociedad civil. La verificación de los emplazamientos mineros según la Norma IRMA es voluntaria. Para obtener más información sobre los requisitos y la certificación de la Norma IRMA, visite


IRMA Announcement: Amandelbult Mine Site Assessment Stage 1

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) announces the commencement of a third-party independent assessment of the Amandelbult platinum group metals (PGM) mining complex against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The mining complex, operated by Rustenburg Platinum Mines Ltd. (parent company Anglo American) is located between the towns of Northam and Thabazimbi in Limpopo, South Africa.

ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM-CVS), an IRMA-approved certification body, will be carrying out the assessment, which includes a desk review (stage 1) followed by an on-site audit (stage 2).

Scope of the Assessment

During the assessment the impacts and issues associated with all mining operations and the associated facilities will be reviewed, and each facility and mining location will be visited. The assessment will include operations and facilities in the Amandelbult mining complex area, which is made up of Dishaba and Tumela underground mines and the Zizwe Batlase open pit operation, and concentrator and mine waste facilities. For more on assessment scope, see the Amandelbult assessment page on the IRMA website.

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Stakeholders affected by or interested in the Amandelbult mining complex are invited to submit comments to ERM-CVS on the social and environmental performance of the Amandelbult operations (in particular, how the site measures against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining).

Amandelbult stakeholders may also contact ERM-CVS 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 should be submitted by email or mail to:

ERM Certification and Verification Services


Mail: Exchequer Court, 33 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8A

Amandelbult stakeholders and interested members of the public can visit the the Amandelbult page on the IRMA website for up-to-date information on the assessment (e.g., the timing of the stage 2 on-site visit, link to pubic summary of audit results).

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

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