Chain of Custody


Update on Standard for Responsible Mining 2.0

As we announced back in October, IRMA is comprehensively revising the 2018 IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining (1.0). This revision process allows IRMA to:

  • Remain accountable to all sectors
  • Remain up-to-date with best practice
  • Add clarity and strengthen auditability
  • Add consistency, and
  • Fill in gaps

Seeking as much as possible to align with ISEAL’s Code of Good Practice for Sustainability Systems, this revision process is informed by:

  • 5 years of ongoing stakeholder engagement
  • Experiences from the initial IRMA third-party audits
  • Review of other standards and initiatives
  • Increased public awareness and evolving expectations of best practice
  • Review of emerging issues garnering international discussions
  • Changes to relevant legislation across the full scope of the standard
  • Comments on previous drafts (IRMA-Ready, Mineral Processing, Chain of Custody)
  • Targeted engagement activities on specific topics
  • IRMA Expert working groups, and
  • Public consultation

Unlike the Standard 1.0 which only covers mineral extraction operations, the  IRMA Standard 2.0 is expected to also cover development, exploration, and mineral processing: the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining and Mineral Processing. Separately we will launch a Chain of Custody Standard.

Public Comments Received for the 1st Draft of IRMA Standard 2.0

The 90 day public consultation lasted from October 26 through January 26. During that time we:

  • Hosted 2 introductory webinars attended by 150 participants
  • Hosted 20 live topic consultation webinars — across multiple time zones — attended by 180 unique participants
  • Received 2,500+ discrete comments from 82 organizations, and
  • Allowed for additional engagement and feedback outside the formal process

The sector and geographic distributions of these 82 commenting organizations are shown below:

Regions from which Standard 2.0 public comments were submitted


Sectors from which IRMA received public comments on Standard 2.0 draft

Of the 28 chapters in first draft Standard 2.0, the most-commented upon were (in alphabetical order):

  • Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Protected Areas
  • Community and Stakeholder Engagement
  • ESIA (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Management)
  • Fair Labor and Terms of Work
  • Gender Equality and Gender Protections (new)
  • GHG and Energy Consumption
  • Human Rights Due Diligence
  • Indigenous Peoples and FPIC
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Waste and Materials Management
  • Water Management

Public Comments Received for the second draft of the Chain of Custody Standard

A first draft was released for public comment in 2021. The 90 day public consultation for the second draft lasted from October 26 through January 26. During that time we:


As included in the graphic below, the IRMA Secretariat is currently processing all the public comments received. Although subject to the approval of the IRMA Board of Directors, it is envisaged to release a 2nd draft for public comment in the second half of 2024. We hope to launch the actual Standard 2.0 – once approved by the IRMA Board of Directors – towards the end of 2024, thus triggering a transition period (duration to be decided and approved by the Board) between versions 1.0 and the 2.0 for all the entities and sites engaged (and seeking to engage) in the IRMA System.

Standard 2.0 revision timeline

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Public Consultation Begins for Draft Standards

Click here to register for webinarsToday we began public consultation for the Draft Standard for Responsible Mining and Mineral Processing, and the Draft Chain of Custody Standard. Public consultation runs through 26 January 2024. For more information on how to comment, please click through to each standard.

The Draft Standard for Responsible Mining and Mineral Processing is an update of the 2018 IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining – the strongest voluntary mining standard in the world, and the only one equally governed by a multistakeholder coalition. The updated draft:

  • Addresses the entire mining process: Mineral Exploration & Development, and Processing in addition to Mining.
  • Adds new chapters on Gender Equality / Gender Protections; Physical Stability; Land and Soil
  • Improves chapters on Financial Transparency and Anti-Corruption; Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC); and Indigenous Peoples
  • Improves how the standard addresses specific topics including greenhouse gas emissions and energy; recycling materials and circularity; operational health & safety; responsible sourcing; human rights; cultural heritage

The new Chain of Custody Standard Draft is designed to provide baseline requirements for tracing material coming from any IRMA-audited mine through the downstream processing of minerals into products, all the way to the end consumer.

Transparently reviewing and updating IRMA Standards ensures they are accountable to all sectors, stakeholders and Indigenous rights holders, and allows for the incorporation of changes in best practice to provide a global responsible mining benchmark. Reviewing every 5 years also complies with the ISEAL Standard Setting Code of Good Practice.

To provide comment, IRMA is reaching out to a wide and diverse set of stakeholders and Indigenous rights holders, including affected local communities, workers and their unions, nonprofit organizations, mining and minerals processing companies, purchasing and investment companies, governments and international organizations, scientists and researchers. Anyone can provide input. Comments will be confidential on request. All comments will be considered carefully – a summary of comments and IRMA’s responses will be provided after the consultation period ends.