South America

Barro Alto. Credit: Anglo AmericanBarro Alto. Credit: Anglo AmericanAudits

Audits released for Anglo’s Barro Alto, Minas-Rio

Anglo American’s Barro Alto, Minas-Rio operations in Brazil audited against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining

First nickel, iron mines to complete IRMA audits, both Barro Alto and Minas-Rio achieve IRMA 75

UPDATE 14 Feb: Webinar recording in English and Português added.

IRMA 75 achievement badge

07 Feb 2024 – Today the Initiative for Responsible Mining (IRMA) released the results of independent audits of Anglo American’s Barro Alto nickel and Minas-Rio iron ore operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The mines achieved IRMA 75 when two independent audit firms measured their performance on concrete social and environmental impact criteria.

IRMA oversees the only independent, comprehensive process for assessing individual mines’ performance against an equally governed, consensus-based standard — and for measuring their subsequent progress in reducing social and environmental harm. The rigorous IRMA process invites all those currently or potentially affected by a mine to share their experiences and perspectives with the auditing team.

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).

Barro Alto and Minas-Rio join 17 other industrial-scale mines worldwide that are independently assessing against the IRMA Standard. 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.

IRMA 75 means the audit firms ERM-CVS (Barro Alto) and SCS Global (Minas-Rio) verified that the operations met all critical requirements of the IRMA Standard, as well as at least 75% of the Standard’s criteria in each of the four areas: social responsibility, environmental responsibility, business integrity and planning for positive legacies. The full audit reports are available in Results tab of the Barro Alto and Minas-Rio audit pages 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 supplying materials essential to the renewable energy transition and the steel supply chain can now 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 just the first steps in a deepening dialogue between mining companies and those affected by their operations. And 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 the first iron and nickel 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 Barro Alto and Minas-Rio audit reports 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”

Ana Sanches, CEO of Anglo American in Brazil, said: “Anglo American’s achievement of IRMA 75 is a first for a nickel and an iron ore mine and is a testament to the hard work of our teams at Barro Alto and Minas-Rio. Participating in IRMA audits for our operations serve as recognition and proof of our commitment to high standard best practice, transparency and assurance, while it also provides independently verified next steps for further improvement. This transparent positive-feedback loop ensures we continue to improve our sustainability practices, leads to better ways to do business and creates greater value for employees, governments, NGOs, customers and communities alike.

Feb 8th Webinar Q&A – slides

Português – Webinar IRMA sobre relatórios de auditoria de Barro Alto/Minas-Rio

English – IRMA webinar re Barro Alto/Minas-Rio audit reports

 For More Information:

 

 

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Audits

ArcelorMittal commits Andrade operation to IRMA audit

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce that ArcelorMittal has committed to the third-party independent assessment of its Andrade iron operation in Brasil’s State of Minas Gerais against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining.

SCS Global, an IRMA-approved independent audit firm, will be carrying out the assessment, which includes a desk review (stage 1) followed by an onsite audit (stage 2). After the SCS draft audit report is reviewed by IRMA and ArcelorMittal, the company may release the report or has the option to take up to twelve months to implement corrective actions and be re-assessed before a final report is published and a Performance Level assigned.

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

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

Members of the community, public officials, representatives of the workforce, or other organizations are invited to submit comments regarding how the mine site is managing their impacts to the environment including air, water, waste, greenhouse gases, and ecosystems; how the mine supports their workforce; and how the mine interacts with the surrounding community, and how it impacts the community, positively or negatively.

Interested parties may contact the independent audit firm, SCS Global, to share comments or to ask to be interviewed as part of the audit process. The audit firm can be reached via its webform.

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

For more information

  • For general information on the IRMA mine site assessment process, visit the IRMA website.
  • IRMA: ArcelorMittal Andrade Mine independent assessment status page
  • If you would like more information on how the audit of the Andrade operations are conducted against the IRMA standard — contact IRMA’s Director of Assurance: Michelle Smith, msmith@responsiblemining.net
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SQM Salar de Atacama audit release webinar cover slideSQM Salar de Atacama audit release webinar cover slideBlog

SQM Salar de Atacama audit release webinar

On 7 September, the day after the release of the audit report of SQM’s 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. Joining the webinar was Javier Silva, SQM’s Sustainability and Community Relations Manager. In volunteering its operation for assessment and scoring IRMA 75, SQM submitted its practices to 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. The slides used in the webinar are available as well.

Español

English

For More Information:
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SQM's Salar de Atacama lithium operation. Credit: SQMSQM's Salar de Atacama lithium operation. Credit: SQMAudits

Se auditaron las operaciones de litio en el Salar de Atacama de SQM (Chile) en virtud del estándar para la minería responsable de IRMA

Corrección del 11 de septiembre: la versión anterior de este comunicado usaba la palabra "certificación". IRMA no "certifica" minas, las evaluamos de acuerdo al Estándar de IRMA. Una mina que logra un puntaje IRMA 75 no es una mina aprobada por IRMA, es una mina que ha obtenido al menos un 75% en las cuatro áreas principales del Estándar IRMA: (1) ambiental y (2) responsabilidad social, (3) planificación de legados positivos, y (4) integridad empresarial

La mina logra IRMA 75 y ofrece información novedosa acerca de su desempeño social y ambiental a las comunidades afectadas y otros actores sociales

Audit packet thumbnail6 de septiembre de 2023 — En el día de la fecha, la Initiative for Responsible Mining (IRMA, por sus siglas en inglés) publicó los resultados de una auditoría independiente de las operaciones de litio en el Salar de Atacama de SQM en virtud del estándar para la minería responsable de IRMA. La mina logra un puntaje de IRMA 75 cuando una auditoría independiente midió su desempeño respecto de ciertos criterios sociales y ambientales específicos.

IRMA supervisa el único proceso independiente e integral para evaluar el desempeño individual de las minas respecto de un estándar consensuado que se rige de forma igualitaria. Tal proceso también mide el progreso posterior de la mina en lograr reducir los daños sociales y ambientales. El proceso riguroso de IRMA invita a todas las personas que se ven afectadas o que puedan verse afectadas por una mina a que compartan sus experiencias y perspectivas con el equipo de auditoría.

Confeccionado tras una década de consultas públicas y mediante aportes de más de 100 empresas y organizaciones, el Estándar IRMA y su proceso de evaluación reconoce los motivos de preocupación de las comunidades indígenas titulares de derechos, las comunidades, el personal minero, los defensores de los derechos ambientales y derechos humanos y otros representantes de la sociedad civil. El sistema independiente de IRMA es el único estándar minero internacional que otorga a esos grupos la misma plataforma para expresarse que a las empresas mineras, los compradores de materiales mineros e inversores.

El Salar de Atacama de SQM se suma a otras 15 minas industriales de todo el mundo que realizan auditorías independientes en virtud del Estándar IRMA en 2023. Después de una autoevaluación inicial, la mina participante contrata a una empresa de auditoría independiente —capacitada y aprobada por IRMA— para hacer una evaluación detallada independiente, incluidas visitas a la mina y las comunidades aledañas.

IRMA 75 significa que la empresa de auditoría ERM-CVS verificó que la mina cumplió todos los requisitos críticos del Estándar IRMA y al menos el 75 % de los criterios del Estándar en cada una de las cuatro áreas: responsabilidad social, responsabilidad ambiental, integridad de la empresa y planeación y gestión de legados positivos. El informe completo de la auditoría está disponible en responsiblemining.net.

“La información que necesitan los actores sociales para decidir qué está bien y qué requiere más atención”.

“Este informe demuestra que las minas que aportan materiales esenciales para llevar a cabo la transición a la energía renovable ahora pueden apuntar a evaluaciones transparentes e independientes sobre su desempeño ambiental y social”, afirmó Aimee Boulanger, directora ejecutiva de IRMA. “Mediante informes de auditoría detallados de IRMA, las empresas mineras, las comunidades y las empresas que compran materiales mineros pueden obtener la información que necesitan para decidir qué está bien y qué requiere más atención en minas específicas”.

Dado que el Estándar IRMA es reconocido mundialmente y se implementa en muchos países, estas auditorías son solo el puntapié inicial de un diálogo creciente entre las empresas mineras y las partes afectadas por sus operaciones. Dado que el proceso todavía no es definitivo, IRMA advierte que se deben revisar e interpretar los resultados preliminares en consecuencia.

“El Estándar IRMA es bastante nuevo”, afirmó Boulanger. “Es un proceso desconocido para empresas que deciden voluntariamente hacer una auditoría, e incluso nuestros auditores certificados todavía están aprendiendo. Lo mismo aplica a los integrantes de la comunidad y los trabajadores que responden las entrevistas como parte del proceso; de hecho, algunas personas todavía se muestran reacias a participar. No hay que perder eso de vista al momento de leer el informe de auditoría del Salar de Atacama de SQM. Celebramos que SQM sea una de las primeras minas que se ofreció a hacer la auditoría de acuerdo con estos criterios tan exhaustivos y rigurosos”.

El informe también es una rendición de cuentas honesta acerca del propio progreso de IRMA a medida que se avanza en perfeccionar el Estándar y el proceso de evaluación. “Si los resultados no reflejan del todo la experiencia de las comunidades, las comunidades indígenas titulares de derechos u otros grupos afectados, nos interesa saberlo” agregó Boulanger. “Los pondremos en contacto con la empresa para que puedan entender mejor su desempeño, y con los auditores si existen problemáticas que pasamos por alto en la revisión. Es uno de los pilares de nuestro compromiso con la transparencia. Invitamos a todas las personas que tengan comentarios sobre nuestro trabajo a que se nos unan para poder seguir mejorando. Encontrar maneras de mejorar es la esencia de nuestro sistema y una medida de nuestro éxito”.

“Llevar a cabo una auditoría de IRMA refleja nuestro deseo de mejorar y nuestra apertura al diálogo”.

“El hecho de que Salar de Atacama haya alcanzado la primera certificación de IRMA 75 para una mina de litio da cuenta del gran empeño puesto por todas las personas que conforman SQM.  Llevar a cabo una auditoría de IRMA y difundir los resultados de nuestra auditoría con absoluta transparencia refleja nuestro deseo de mejorar y nuestra apertura al diálogo con todos los actores sociales afectados acerca de cómo lograr ese crecimiento”, aseveró Ricardo Ramos, CEO de SQM.

Obtener más información en la sesión de preguntas y respuestas del webinario.

  • Para registrarse: https://bit.ly/IRMA-SQMAtacama-webinar
  • Jueves 7 de septiembre, 11am CLST/GMT-3 (hora Chilena)
  • Oradores: Aimee Boulanger, directora ejecutiva de IRMA; Adan Olivares Castro, Líder de América; Javier Silva, Gerente de Sostenibilidad y Relaciones Comunitarias de SQM
  • Debate, preguntas y respuestas sobre el significado de los resultados de la auditoría, y cómo las partes interesadas pueden utilizar la información que proporciona una auditoría IRMA para mejorar la transparencia y el funcionamiento de la operación minera.
  • El seminario web tendrá interpretación simultánea para hablantes de español e inglés. Todos los inscritos recibirán un link con la grabación.

Para más información:

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Audits

Auditoria de campo independente de acordo com a Norma IRMA para Mineração Responsável, Mina Várzea do Lopes

Entre 28 de agosto e 05 de setembro de 2023, a SCS Global Services (SCS) realizará uma auditoria de terceira parte na mina de minério de ferro Várzea do Lopes, da Gerdau Açominas, com relação à Iniciativa de Garantia de Mineração Responsável (IRMA). A IRMA é um sistema de auditoria voluntário que fornece um conjunto de diretrizes de melhores práticas e requisitos de engajamento participativo das partes interessadas, criado para melhorar o desempenho ambiental e social das operações de mineração.

A auditoria independente e de terceira parte oferece às partes interessadas, incluindo membros da comunidade, trabalhadores, sindicatos, representantes do governo e outros grupos afetados, a oportunidade de dar sua opinião sobre o desempenho ambiental, de saúde, de segurança e de relacionamento com a comunidade da mina. A SCS usará os comentários das partes interessadas para ajudar a determinar o desempenho da operação da Mina Várzea do Lopes em relação à Norma IRMA.

Os interessados são convidados a enviar comentários por escrito para coincidir com a auditoria de campo.

As partes interessadas também podem entrar em contato com a SCS se quiserem ser entrevistadas. As entrevistas serão realizadas virtualmente (telefone ou videoconferência) ou pessoalmente. Os comentários, perguntas e solicitações de entrevistas podem ser feitos por meio do link abaixo; as identidades e observações dos comentaristas serão mantidas em sigilo mediante solicitação.

Link para contato: https://info.scsglobalservices.com/feedback-das-partes-interessadas-do-irma

Após a conclusão da auditoria na Mina Várzea do Lopes, pertencente à Gerdau, os resultados da auditoria independente serão publicados pela IRMA, que apresentará uma pontuação geral de realização: IRMA Transparência, IRMA 50, IRMA 75 ou IRMA 100.

A SCS é uma empresa de certificação aprovada pela IRMA com sede em Emeryville, Califórnia. Para obter mais informações sobre a SCS, visite www.scsglobalservices.com.

A Norma IRMA é a mais completa norma de mineração do mundo para minas em escala industrial e a única administrada igualmente por todas as partes interessadas: empresas de mineração, compradores de minérios, investidores, organizações trabalhistas, comunidades e ONGs da sociedade civil.  A auditoria no local da mina de acordo com a Norma IRMA é voluntária.  Para obter mais informações sobre os requisitos e a certificação da Norma IRMA, acesse www.responsiblemining.net.

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Audits

28 Aug onsite audit for Gerdau’s Várzea do Lopes Mine

Between August 28 and September 5, 2023, SCS Global Services (SCS) will commence an independent audit of Gerdau’s Várzea do Lopes Iron Ore Mine 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.

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 Várzea do Lopes Mine 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.  Stakeholder comments, questions, and interview requests can be made through the link below; commenters’ identities and remarks are kept confidential upon request.

Link:   https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irmafeedback

Upon completion of the Gerdau’s Várzea doLopes Mine audit, IRMA will publish the independent audit results and present an overall achievement score: IRMA Transparency, IRMA 50, IRMA 75, or IRMA 100.

SCS is an IRMA-approved certification body 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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Audits

Auditoria de campo independente de acordo com a Norma IRMA para Mineração Responsável, Mina Miguel Burnier

Entre 28 de agosto e 05 de setembro de 2023, a SCS Global Services (SCS) realizará uma auditoria de terceira parte na mina de minério de ferro Miguel Burnier, da Gerdau Açominas, com relação à Iniciativa de Garantia de Mineração Responsável (IRMA). A IRMA é um sistema de auditoria voluntário que fornece um conjunto de diretrizes de melhores práticas e requisitos de engajamento participativo das partes interessadas, criado para melhorar o desempenho ambiental e social das operações de mineração.

A auditoria independente e de terceira parte oferece às partes interessadas, incluindo membros da comunidade, trabalhadores, sindicatos, representantes do governo e outros grupos afetados, a oportunidade de dar sua opinião sobre o desempenho ambiental, de saúde, de segurança e de relacionamento com a comunidade da mina. A SCS usará os comentários das partes interessadas para ajudar a determinar o desempenho da operação da Mina Miguel Burnier em relação à Norma IRMA.

Os interessados são convidados a enviar comentários por escrito para coincidir com a auditoria de campo.

As partes interessadas também podem entrar em contato com a SCS se quiserem ser entrevistadas. As entrevistas serão realizadas virtualmente (telefone ou videoconferência) ou pessoalmente. Os comentários, perguntas e solicitações de entrevistas podem ser feitos por meio do link abaixo; as identidades e observações dos comentaristas serão mantidas em sigilo mediante solicitação.

Link para contato: https://info.scsglobalservices.com/feedback-das-partes-interessadas-do-irma

Após a conclusão da auditoria na Mina Miguel Burnier, pertencente à Gerdau, os resultados da auditoria independente serão publicados pela IRMA, que apresentará uma pontuação geral de realização: IRMA Transparência, IRMA 50, IRMA 75 ou IRMA 100.

A SCS é uma empresa de certificação aprovada pela IRMA com sede em Emeryville, Califórnia. Para obter mais informações sobre a SCS, visite http://www.scsglobalservices.com/.

A Norma IRMA é a mais completa norma de mineração do mundo para minas em escala industrial e a única administrada igualmente por todas as partes interessadas: empresas de mineração, compradores de minérios, investidores, organizações trabalhistas, comunidades e ONGs da sociedade civil.  A auditoria no local da mina de acordo com a Norma IRMA é voluntária.  Para obter mais informações sobre os requisitos e a certificação da Norma IRMA, acesse www.responsiblemining.net.

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Audits

Onsite audit for Gerdau’s Miguel Burnier Mine coming 28 August

Between August 28 and September 5, 2023, SCS Global Services (SCS) will commence an independent audit of Gerdau’s Miguel Burnier Iron Ore Mine 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.

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 Miguel Burnier Mine 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.  Stakeholder comments, questions, and interview requests can be made through the link below; commenters’ identities and remarks are kept confidential upon request.

Link:   https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irmafeedback

Upon completion of the Gerdau’s Miguel Burnier Mine audit, IRMA will publish the independent audit results and present an overall achievement score: IRMA Transparency, IRMA 50, IRMA 75, or IRMA 100.

SCS is an IRMA-approved certification body 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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Gerdau commits two operations to IRMA independent assessment

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce that the Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau has committed to third-party independent assessments of its Várzea do Lopes and Miguel Burnier iron ore mining operations in Minas Gerais against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. Both mining complexes have been in operation since 2006.

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 Gerdau, Gerdau 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 Gerdau independent assessments (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 Gerdau operations (in particular, how the performance of the mine sites measuree against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining).

Stakeholders of the Gerdau mines 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 Gerdau stakeholders who may be interested in knowing about and participating in the mine site assessment process.

For more information

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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.

 


For More Information

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
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