Unki Mine retains responsible mining certificate

IRMA is a United States-based leading organisation which sets global standards for mining firms to adopt more socially and environmentally responsible mining.

ANGLO-American Plc subsidiary Unki Mine has retained the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA750) seal of approval following the completion of a surveillance audit, NewsDay Business reports.

IRMA is a United States-based leading organisation which sets global standards for mining firms to adopt more socially and environmentally responsible mining.

The audit saw Anglo’s Mototolo and Amandelbult mines in South Africa being assessed against the IRMA’s comprehensive mining standards for the first time, achieving the IRMA 75 and IRMA 50 level of performance, respectively.

In a statement, Anglo said the confirmation reflected Anglo American Platinum’s integrated approach to sustainability and its commitment to transparency in striving to archieve the highest levels of responsible platinum group metals (PGMs) production.

Anglo American Platinum Limited chief executive officer Craig Miller said retaining IRMA 75 at Unki provided assurance that the group continued to maintain the highest standards of responsible mining.

“Aligned to our strategy to be a leader in ESG [environmental social governance], and adding value to the products that we mine, we are helping our customers to meet increasing expectations for responsibly sourced, mined materials in an efficient and credible way,” he said.

“The IRMA assurance process has provided us with a valuable opportunity to measure our performance at Amandelbult and Mototolo against international best sustainability practices and identify next steps for improvement.”

IRMA 75 at Unki also provided assurance that the firm continued to implement the highest standards of responsible mining, he noted.

“We are immensely proud of the work the teams have been doing across these operations to support responsible mining and we look forward to continuing to lead the way in the mining sector globally,” Miller added.

Anglo is a South Africa-based miner, a member of the Anglo-American Plc Group, and a leading primary producer of PGMs.

Anglo said the IRMA scoring system recognised four levels of performance, that is, IRMA Transparency in which a mine is third-party-assessed and publicly shares its scores as well as IRMA 50, 75 or 100.

“The IRMA 50, IRMA 75 and IRMA 100 levels reflect increasingly higher levels of performance across the four sections of the IRMA Standard (Business Integrity, Planning for Positive Legacies, Social Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility),” the IRMA website read.

“At the 50, 75 and 100 levels of achievement, mines must also meet a set of critical requirements, although at IRMA 50 and IRMA 75 some minor non-conformity is allowed as long as there is a corrective action plan to reach full conformity within 18 months. To reach IRMA 100, all of the critical requirements must be fully met.”

IRMA's Standard for Responsible Mining has been developed over a decade through a public consultation process with more than 100 different stakeholders. These include individuals and organisations, including mining companies, customers and the ultimate downstream users of mined products, non-governmental organisations, labour unions and communities.

It is one of the most rigorous certification processes.

“Through detailed IRMA audit reports, mining companies, communities and companies that purchase mined materials can gain the information they need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention — at specific mines,” IRMA executive director Aimee Boulanger said.

“The Mototolo, Amandelbult and Unki reports demonstrate that these mines can point to transparent, independent evaluations of their environmental and social performance.”

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