A Canadian model aimed at improving the sustainability of mining through environmental and community outreach practices is being introduced in Botswana, says mining networking platform African Mining Network (AMN) chairperson Yolanda Torrisi.
The industry in Botswana, she notes, in a May 9 AMN newsletter, will be the first in Africa to implement the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative through its Chamber of Mines (CoM).
“TSM requires miners to continuously assess their mining practices and report them to the community, thereby enhancing sustainability and transparency.”
The TSM, she explains, incorporates six core sustainability areas, including greenhouse-gas emissions, biodiversity conservation and community outreach. These areas combine industry technical standards such as those used in mine tailings management.
TSM is mandatory for Mining Association of Canada members and its use has spread further afield, including Finland and Argentina. Botswana is the latest country to adopt TSM in a bid to improve the environmental and social performance of the mining industry, as well as lifting transparency, says Torrisi.
The TSM programme was launched in Canada in 2004 and was designed through dialogue with industry and civil society partners, which has contributed to its ongoing development. As an experienced and successful mining jurisdiction, Canada is committed to sharing its expertise with other less experienced mining regions, adds Torrisi.
According to the AMN newsletter, Botswana CoM CEO Charles Siwawa notes that, because chamber members subscribe to the principles of responsible mining and extraction of minerals, the adoption of the TSM will enable the industry as a whole to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.
He adds that the TSM will enable miners to demonstrate to the community their commitment to sound and sustainable minerals development practices.
Siwawa says this will be of benefit to the entire country.
“With Botswana’s adoption of TSM, the programme is now in four countries on four continents, clearly establishing TSM as an emerging global standard. It is our privilege to share our tools and expertise in sustainable and responsible mining practices with a country that is making important strides in sustainable mining development,” says Mining Association of Canada president and CEO Pierre Gratton in a statement.
In promising his country’s commitment to support sustainable mining development, Canadian Ambassador to Botswana Kumar Gupta says the initiative reflects Canada’s strong relationship with Botswana.