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Anglo's Minas-Rio, Barro Alto mines complete IRMA audit; more mines to follow

The Minas-Rio mine

The Minas-Rio mine

7th February 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter

     

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Diversified miner Anglo American’s Minas-Rio iron-ore and Barro Alto nickel mines, in Brazil, have been assessed against the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance's (IRMA’s) comprehensive mining standard, achieving an IRMA 75 level of performance.

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

The scoring system recognises various levels of performance: IRMA Transparency, in which a mine is third-party-assessed and publicly shares its scores; IRMA 50 or 75, signifying that a mine meets a core set of critical requirements together with at least 50% or 75% of the requirements in each of the four sections of the Standard for Responsible Mining; and IRMA 100, which signifies the mine meets all of the standard's requirements.

Anglo American states that the achievement of an IRMA 75 performance reflects the group’s integrated approach to sustainability and its commitment to transparency in striving for the highest levels of responsible metals production.

"We believe our participation in IRMA helps promote transparency and best practice in sustainability, while adding value to our customers by helping them to meet increasing expectations for responsibly sourced mined materials in an efficient and credible way.

“Through our digital traceability platform Valutrax, which launched last year, we are also making it easier for customers to have visibility over products with third-party assurance such as IRMA, empowering the transparency and provenance of their purchasing decisions,” comments Anglo American Americas regional director Ruben Fernandes.

Minas-Rio and Barro Alto are the first iron-ore and nickel-producing mines in the world to complete an IRMA audit.

This follows Anglo’s Unki platinum mine’s achievement, in 2021, of an IRMA 75 level of performance. The mine, in Zimbabwe, was the first in the world to publicly commit to be independently audited against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining.

The Mototolo, Amandelbult and Mogalakwena platinum group metals (PGMs) mines, owned by Anglo subsidiary Anglo American Platinum, and the Kolomela and Sishen iron-ore mines, owned by another subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore, have also been independently audited against the IRMA standard. The outcomes of the audit reports for these operations, which are all located in South Africa, are still pending.

"We applaud Anglo American for volunteering the first iron-ore and nickel mines for an audit against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining, and for its larger commitment to put all its metal mining operations to IRMA audit.

“That commitment, along with its IRMA board membership, exemplifies Anglo American's ongoing leadership in the practical application of responsible mining principles," says IRMA executive director Aimee Boulanger.

Other mining firms have also started independent IRMA audits on their operations. This includes multinational mining and metals processing group Sibanye-Stillwater, with independent assessments of its US PGM operations and its Rustenburg PGM operations, in South Africa, in progress.

An independent assessment of ASX-listed Syrah Resources' Balama graphite mine, in Mozambique, is also under way.

 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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