At its core, IRMA is an assessment system for mine performance. As such, we seek to provide market value and recognition for responsible practices at the mine site.
We do so by providing independent, credible reporting of a mine’s performance, allowing purchasing companies, investors, civil society, and labor unions to better understand the achievements of mining companies, as well as the challenges they face.
As a mining company, we welcome your engagement in IRMA and invite you to begin your journey by:
- setting up an introductory call with IRMA leadership to better understand the system, and
- familiarizing yourself with IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining through our Mine Measure tool—this allows you to confidentially self-assess your mine’s performance against IRMA’s Standard
While these are important first steps, the real value of engaging IRMA is realized after an independent, third-party audit. An audit involves:
- selecting an IRMA-approved auditing firm
- providing the documentation and evidence needed for the auditing firm’s desk-based review of the mine (the first phase)
- bringing the auditing firm to the mine site to verify various metrics and to undertake stakeholder interviews (the second phase)
- reviewing the auditing firm’s assessment and providing feedback, as needed
- releasing the audit report for public review
In IRMA’s system, a mine receives a score from 1 to 100. IRMA was very deliberate in opting for a scoring system, rather than a pass-fail approach, as this allows a mine to demonstrate improvement over time.
Using the audit report and related score, a mine can:
- engage in an authentic conversation with key stakeholders about the areas where it is achieving best practice, and areas where there is more work to be done to meet IRMA’s standard
- demonstrate leadership in the sector through transparent reporting, with a level of transparency yet unseen in the mining industry
- share site-level practices and challenges with the headquarters of the mining company, which may not be fully understood at the corporate level
IRMA is committed to multi-stakeholder governance and welcomes mining companies as members. Membership allows you to:
- vote for board representatives for your sector
- attend IRMA’s member-only meetings
- connect with, learn from and collaborate with others in your sector
- connect with, learn from and collaborate with stakeholders outside of your sector
- publicly demonstrate your leadership in implementing more responsible mining practices
- access members-only communication
It is important to note that mining companies applying to be members must have at least one site that has been independently audited against the IRMA Standard and achieved at least IRMA 50. If the company owns/operates more than one mine site, they must also submit a plan and timeline to audit a diversity of their operations against the IRMA Standard. Although the category of Pending Member is no longer available for new applicants, grandfathered Pending Members must publicly announce the commencement of a third-party audit of at least one mine site within 12 months of becoming a Pending Member.
Exploration and development companies must commit to commence a third-party audit against the IRMA Ready Standard, which is planned for release as part of the updated IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining at the end of 2023. Before that time, these companies are encouraged to review, comment on and, where appropriate, pilot test the draft IRMA Ready Standard.