News

First IRMA Audit Report published: Carrizal’s Zimapán Mine

Today the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) took a bold step toward increasing transparency in the mining sector. With the release of the certification system’s first audit report, IRMA is demonstrating the type of clear, consistent reporting it provides for all stakeholders with an interest in mining. The release of this first audit report presents IRMA’s vision for the future of minerals sourcing—one in which information is readily available and objectively verified.

IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining represents a precedent-setting definition for responsible mining and also provides an unprecedented depth of information, opening the pathway to constructive conversation among diverse stakeholders, including those living closest to mines around the world. Through a certification system that is accountable to all stakeholders, IRMA seeks to drive meaningful, positive change in the mining industry.

A core tenet of IRMA is to improve accountability in the mining sector through increased transparency, with a commitment to sharing audit results publicly as a prerequisite for a mine to be independently audited. The first company to release a report in IRMA’s system is Carrizal Mining, a medium-sized lead, zinc, copper and silver miner in Mexico. Following an independent, third-party audit of the mine carried out by the IRMA-approved firm ERM Certification and Verification Services, Carrizal’s Zimapán Mine achieved IRMA Transparency, meaning it was assessed against all of IRMA’s relevant requirements and agreed to share its results publicly.

IRMA’s ultimate goal is to drive value for improved social and environmental responsibility in mining. Carrizal has shown how engaging in IRMA and undergoing an audit helps a mine on that journey. Their first step was self-assessment, followed by investments in improvements before the audit. Now, Carrizal’s leadership is using the audit results as a guide for where to focus next. By using the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining as a guidebook throughout its journey, Carrizal Mining has taken important steps to learn where its mining practices meet global best practice and where there is room for further change. Most importantly, the mine’s leadership has used its engagement in IRMA to plan for improvements in its performance over time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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News

Barro Alto Mine Site Assessment Announcement

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce the commencement of a third-party independent assessment of the Barro Alto nickel mine against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The Barro Alto mine, located in Brazil, is operated by Anglo American Brasil. For more information on Barro Alto mine check out their profile on the Responsible Mining Map.

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).

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can visit the Mines Under Assessment page of IRMA’s website to view up-to-date information on the Barro Alto assessment (e.g., the timing of the stage 2 on-site visit, link to pubic summary of audit results).

Mine site stakeholders are invited to submit comments to ERM-CVS on the social and environmental performance of the Barro Alto mine (in particular, how the mine measures against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining).

Barro Alto mine 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

Email: post@ermcvs.com

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

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.

For more information on the Barro Alto Mine Site Assessment, contact IRMA’s Director of Standards and Assurance: lsumi@responsiblemining.net

For general information on the IRMA mine site assessment and certification process, visit the IRMA website.

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A Call for Urgent Support for S. African Communities Facing Covid-19

the majority of our communities live in desperate poverty and the Covid-19 Lock Down is set to multiply the misery experienced by so many South Africans…

Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) and
Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA)

We reach out to you during these critical times for your urgent assistance to support those who will face the coming shutdown without the safety net enjoyed by some.

South Africa has roughly 58 million people living in 17 million households. About 1000 households are added to this number every day. South Africa has a very high number of young people – almost half of its population is under 24.

If we divide the country by household income (that is, all the earners in the household combined), then 7 million would fall into the category of middle class and above. That means 50 million people are living in households below the level needed to support a middle-class lifestyle. These 50 million people are likely to be using public transport and public health care and living with very little financial margin.

As one goes into the ultra-poor and survivor category, households regularly run out of food before the end of the month. A hallmark of living in this kind of household is a dependence on social grant income and a food shortage by the third week of the month. In addition, most poorer households live at least one taxi ride away from the closest supermarket and pay for extra seats on the taxi if purchasing more than a few bags of groceries.

In short, the majority of our communities live in desperate poverty and the Covid-19 Lock Down is set to multiply the misery experienced by so many South Africans.

As MACUA/WAMUA, we have undertaken to use our branch network to run soup kitchens in support of the most vulnerable in our communities along the following lines:

  • We have already been in contact with the Presidency around obtaining clarity on essential services and whether local support groups will fall under essential services.
  • We will also ensure that our volunteers are fully aware of the protective measures that they need to take, and we will monitor activities and outcomes through our regular reporting structures, WhatsApp groups and online meetings.
  • Volunteers will wear distinctive clothing and we will provide letters to all volunteers explaining their role and work.
  • We currently have 20 branches throughout the country, mostly in rural areas where poverty is at its worst, and we hope to provide each branch with regular funding support to run soup kitchens at least twice a week for at least the next 3 months.

Donate online, through the MACUA website

Or send a donation to:

MACUA/WAMUA Advice Office (MWAO)
First National Bank (FNB)
Account Number: 62805769893
Branch Code: 250655

All donations are tax deductible:
Registered in South Africa as MACUA/WAMUA ADVICE OFFICE under the Non-Profit Organisations Act, 1997 (ACT 71 OF 1997)
Registration number 228-294 NPO
MACUA WAMUA NPC 2019/360083/08

For more information contact:
Meshack Mbangula, MACUA National Coordinator, mbangulam@gmail.com

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News

The EV revolution will take batteries, but are they ethical?

Up-and-coming IRMA positions itself as the most rigorous third-party mining standard to emerge. . . Microsoft, Tiffany and Anglo American are already IRMA members; BMW is the first carmaker to sign up.

Adria Vasil, Corporate Knights

“. . .The EV revolution has been racking up a whole supply chain of trouble around the globe (including a recent lawsuit) related to an onslaught of often-contentious new mines opening to meet surging battery-metal demand, not to mention the coming tide of e-waste from old batteries.

If we want to fix this before e-cars take over the roads (30% of car sales should be electric across the EU and North America by 2030, analysts forecast), the time to ensure it’s done right is now. A handful of companies are trying to get out ahead of looming environmental and social risks. . .”

Read the full Corporate Knights article >

Photo credit: Lithium mines in Chile, Open Commons.

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News

BMW Group joins the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance

BMW Group has become the first carmaker to join the global effort for the third-party certification of social and environmental performance at mine sites.

“Sustainability is an important aspect of our corporate strategy and we are fully aware of our responsibility in mineral value chains.” said Dr. Andreas Wendt, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network. “For the BMW Group and its stakeholders, it is of the utmost importance that environmental and social standards are adhered to throughout the entire value chain. Raw materials form the basis for every industrial production process and our need will continue to grow accordingly,” underlined Wendt. “We believe that IRMA, with its ambitious certification standard, will contribute to enhancing responsibility in global value chains and improving environmental and social performance.”

. . . “The auto sector is a powerful purchaser of materials that come from mines. We are happy to have the BMW Group join IRMA and we look forward to supporting their commitment to increasing environmental and social responsibility in their supply chains,” said Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA.

Read the full article on miningglobal.com >

Photo credit: Andreas Riedelmeier from Pixabay.

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Carrizal Mine Site Assessment Announcement

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce the commencement of a third-party independent assessment of the Carrizal lead, zinc, copper and silver mine against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The Carrizal mine, located in Mexico, is operated by Carrizal S.A. de C.V.

ERM Certification and Verification Services (CVS), 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).

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can sign up to receive updates about the Carrizal mine assessment (e.g., the timing of the stage 2 onsite visit, link to pubic 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 ERM-CVS on the social and environmental performance of the Carrizal mine (in particular, how the performance of the mine site measures against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining).

Stakeholders of the Carrizal mine 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

Email: post@ermcvs.com

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

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

For more information on the Carrizal Mine Site Assessment, contact IRMA’s Director of Standards and Assurance: lsumi@responsiblemining.net

For general information on the IRMA mine site assessment and certification process, visit the IRMA website.

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Unki Mine Site Assessment Announcement

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce the commencement of a third-party independent assessment of the Unki platinum group metals (PGM) mine against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The Unki mine, located in Zimbabwe, is operated by Anglo American Platinum.

SCS Global Services (SCS), 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).

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can sign up to receive updates about the Unki mine assessment (e.g., the timing of the stage 2 onsite visit, link to pubic 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 on the social and environmental performance of the Unki mine (in particular, how the mine measures against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining).

Unki mine stakeholders may also contact SCS 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:

SCS Global Services
2000 Powell St. #600
Emeryville, California, USA 94608

Email: visit the SCS website for this information and more on the audit.

Please forward this announcement, and feel free to contact SCS 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.

For more information on the Unki Mine Site Assessment, contact IRMA’s Director of Standards and Assurance: lsumi@responsiblemining.net

For general information on the IRMA mine site assessment and certification process, visit the IRMA website.

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News

China, e-silk roads and a plea for change

The EV revolution is in its infancy, but it is gaining traction, and its minerals, whatever they are, will have to be mined responsibly.  

Author, John Harker

What if China, the EU, and North America co-operated to undertake a major survey of Responsible Mining and Rare-Earths? A survey in which major mining houses such as BHP, Glencore, and Anglo-American would have much to offer, especially as they are increasing or refining their own focus on “battery” minerals.

In fact, their involvement is key. They know the ups and downs in mining as the EV revolution unfolds. A year ago, Ivan Glasenberg, the CEO of Glencore, stressed that his company has “a key role to play in enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy”. This is true, but the company has seen its profits drop due in large part to its “battery minerals” business.

Anglo-American is the world’s largest supplier of platinum and palladium, which are essential to the smooth running of cars fueled by Petrol/Gas, and the company is now intent on developing a lithium battery which will use the platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel.

The great mining houses are among the companies which created the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, a body which would also be a source of strength for any such survey.

Read the full article on Mining.com >

Photo credit: Electric taxi in Shenzhen, China. (Image: Brücke-Osteuropa | Wikimedia Commons.)

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News

BC Mining Law Reform Issues Recommendations for Legal Reform

BC Mining Law Reform was created in May 2019 to push for certain changes in the BC mining regulatory landscape. The new reports offer 69 recommendations that range from broad policy updates to small changes in current legislation. They include the adoption of free, prior, and informed consent for indigenous communities affected by mining projects and major changes to BC’s mineral tenure system.

Waste Disposal and Management: BC Mining Law Reform recommends reducing the number of existing tailings dams; moving away from wet tailing impoundments; adopting the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining for waste management; and banning disposal of wastes into lakes, rivers, or oceans.

Water Protection: BC Mining Law Reform recommends the adoption of the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining water management standards, including full consultation with communities and stakeholders on critical water-related issues, with third party independent reviews. The network also recommends the prohibition of mines likely to require perpetual water treatment unless able to meet exceptional criteria.

Read full article >

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News

Are There Potential Downsides of Going to 100 Percent Renewable Energy?

A new study looks at the danger to biodiversity that could come from increased mining of minerals used to create batteries for renewable energy technologies . . . EV and battery industry are urged to source from IRMA-certified mines.

Until recycled materials become a feasible alternative to mining, the researchers say, the industry will continue to mine new materials to meet the growing needs of the energy sector, and renewable energy companies will be on the hook for ensuring that their emissions-free technologies aren’t causing potentially irreversible environmental degradation.

“ best practice is to source metals through verified high-bar standards/certification schemes (such as the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance) industry self-monitoring,” said report co-author Dominish.

According to the report summary, the EV and battery industries urgently need to take action to ensure sustainability in their supply chains, particularly for the sourcing of lithium, cobalt, and rare earth metals.

Access the full article in the Pacific Standard.

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