87 Indigenous Peoples’ representatives

issued the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Participants in the Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Just Transition.

The declaration includes “Companies must recognize and respect the right to FPIC, which also means the right to say no, in their policies, procedures and practices in all projects, recognizing and emphasizing the self-determined development of Indigenous Peoples. The International [sic] Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) policy on FPIC must be the minimum standard for mining companies.”

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BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNMEC)

published “BC First Nations Critical Minerals Strategy.”

Recommendation 19 of the strategy says “First Nations, in their sole and absolute discretion, may require all mineral projects, including critical minerals projects, be assessed and audited by the world’s leading mining standard created by the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (“IRMA”). The IRMA audit process is transparent, independent and voluntary. The IRMA process is analogous to forest certification processes, such as the Forest Stewardship Council. Industry mining standards and certification schemes are biased processes and not supported by most First Nations.”


170+ signatories from human rights and environmental organizations, grassroots communities and unions from 30 countries worldwide

sent a declaration to COP 26 climate negotiators, calling on them to commit to centering human rights and environmental impacts of mining, including for battery minerals.

The groups also urged negotiators to prioritize low-impact circular economy solutions and ensure responsible minerals sourcing through “adherence to stringent international environmental and human rights standards with independent, third-party verification of compliance, such as the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining.”

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Allen Edzerza, a representative of the First Nations Energy & Mining Council

spoke at the Wall Street Green Summit emphasizing the importance of including the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples when considering ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors.

In this venue, he noted: “[IRMA] is the only standard that recognizes the rights of indigenous people whose lands and culture are impacted by exploration and mining projects and has the mandatory requirement of adherence to the UN Declaration Principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. If you are an exploration junior, or you are a producer, and you want to show your shareholders you have a demonstrable and verifiable ESG program in your exploration or mining project for critical minerals and metals, then you must have or be on the pathway to IRMA-type certification.”


The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

published “Anglo American company under the microscope” reacting to the audit report of Anglo American’s Unki mine in Zimbabwe, released in February 2021.

While there were both commendations and critiques of the mine’s performance, the opening paragraph of the piece demonstrates the value IRMA provides communities: “Anglo American’s Unki platinum mine operating in Zimbabwe’s move to be assessed against the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) comprehensive mining standard has been welcomed by locals as a reflection of the company’s commitment to transparency and responsible mining.”


OKT Law Firm, a team of lawyers dedicated to advocating for Indigenous communities in Canada

issued Raising the Stakes – A Comparative Review of Canadian Mining Laws and Responsible Mining Standards,” a detailed report comparing selected components of mining regimes throughout the country to IRMA’s requirements—the first analysis of its kind.

The authors note: “Comparing [laws and policies] to the IRMA Standard is important in evaluating the extent to which the mining law regime in each jurisdiction reflects best practices.” They also note: “IRMA’s standards are a pioneering example of how best to address environmental and social issues in mining.”


Indigenous leaders in British Columbia

authored “Time for Mining to Clean Up Its Act” an Op-Ed in the Vancouver Sun, making it clear that business as usual is not an option when it comes to current mining industry practices and related regulations.

In the piece, these community leaders shared: “An increasing number of organizations are signing on to the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining, which seeks to emulate for industrial-scale mine sites what has been done with certification programs in organic agriculture, responsible forestry and sustainable fisheries. “Owners of mines that fail to meet the standard, which includes social and environmental responsibility and third-party verification, risk being bypassed as suppliers in much the same way that B.C. forestry companies were shunned until they improved their logging practices.”