April 5, 2016 Revised draft Standard released today, multi-sector effort to certify social and environmental performance at industrial-scale mine sites globally.
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Today, the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) released the second and revised draft Standard for Responsible Mining for a sixty-day review and public comment period ahead of the first-ever global certification program for industrial-scale mine sites, planned to begin in late 2016.
This second draft of the Standard for Responsible Mining reflects the input from over 1400 points of comment contributed by more than 70 organizations and individuals worldwide, including industry and technical experts. Additionally, in October 2015 and March 2016, IRMA conducted two field tests of the Standard for Responsible Mining to ground-truth the draft Standard through simulated mine audits in the United States and in Zimbabwe. Auditors hired by IRMA reviewed company documentation, made first-hand observations at the mine site, and conducted interviews with company representatives and other stakeholders to verify the requirements in the Standard are clear, practicable, and measurable.
With growing awareness and demand for ecologically and socially-responsible products jewelers, electronics businesses and others have sought assurances that the minerals they purchase are mined responsibly. The Standard seeks to emulate for industrial-scale mine sites what has been done with certification programs in organic agriculture, responsible forestry and sustainable fisheries.