Anglo American announced that is has signed on in support of a new draft of the Standard for Responsible Mining that was released by the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).
The IRMA was developed by Earthworks and includes a number of environmental non governmental organizations (NGO) that are often at odds with mining.
In a press release on its website Anglo American said “As one of the world’s largest mining companies, Anglo American wants a future where we make a positive and sustainable contribution to local communities and minimize any impact on land and water, while serving the needs of modern society. We believe that we can best achieve this by working collaboratively across the industry and with partners throughout our supply chains.”
The Standard for Responsible Mining seeks to emulate for industrial-scale mining what has been achieved with certification schemes in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. It is the result of eight years of collaboration between mining companies, organized labor, NGOs, communities and downstream users.
This is the first time that a set of practices for responsible mining have been designed by representatives from multiple sectors. The standard is aimed at multiple industrial-scale commodities, ranging from building materials and automotive parts, to jewellery and electronics. It covers all the key issues deemed relevant for responsible mining, including human rights, transparency, community, labour, safety and environmental matters, and is based largely on existing standards (e.g. IFC Performance Standards).
IRMA’s goal is to launch a certification scheme in late 2015 based on independent, third-party verification of compliance around social and environmental performance at industrial-scale mine sites.
The IRMA is seeking feedback which can be provided by visiting the IRMA website.
The deadline for feedback on the first draft is 22 October 2014. After this, IRMA will make revisions to the draft Standard and release a second draft for an additional comment period before releasing the final Standard. Background on the process that led to this draft, as well as on the certification programs plans and more can be found on IRMA’s website.