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.
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