JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Argentina’s national mining association, Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros (CAEM), has announced that it will adopt Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a corporate social responsibility programme developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to improve environmental and social practices in the mining industry.
According to CAEM president Marcelo Alvarez, the TSM will help Argentina's mining sector become more efficient and reliable, as well as an important and attractive jurisdiction for investment and growth.
"By adopting the TSM, we are committing to raise the standards of our industry. [The initiative] will help us become more transparent and earn the confidence of Argentinian society. It is a first step towards building a solid, responsible mining sector capable of achieving its full potential," said Alvarez.
This is the second time that TSM has been adopted by a mining association outside of Canada – after Finnish mining association FinnMin adopted the TSM initiative in November 2015. It is also the first time a Latin American jurisdiction has done so.
The MAC freely shares its TSM initiative with other countries seeking to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries, including engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability.
"We are honoured that Argentina has chosen the TSM as the vehicle to drive environmental and social performance in its mining sector, and are proud of the initiative’s increasingly global reach,” said MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton.
He added that exporting Canada's expertise in sustainable and responsible mining practices was one important way that the MAC could contribute to improving mining performance worldwide.
The MAC and its members launched the TSM initiative in 2004. Implementation of the programme is mandatory for all MAC members' Canadian operations, though many members voluntarily apply it to their international sites.
The initiative requires mining companies to assess their facilities' performance across six important areas on a yearly basis. These area of importance include tailings management, Aboriginal and community outreach, safety and health, biodiversity conservation, crisis management, as well as energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management.
The results of these assessments are freely available to the public and are externally verified every three years to ensure that what has been reported is accurate.
CAEM noted that, while it would tailor its performance areas so that they reflected the unique aspects of its domestic mining sector, the performance areas would closely resemble those of Canada's.
To ensure that the TSM initiative reflects the expectations of civil society and industry stakeholders, it was designed and continues to be shaped by an independent, multi-interest advisory panel. As part of its implementation, CAEM said it would implement a similar advisory body to provide this oversight function.