VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has released its twelfth yearly ‘Towards Sustainable Mining’ (TSM) progress report, highlighting the significant impact the initiative has had over the years to foster sustainability practices among its members.
According to the MAC, Vancouver-based diversified miner Teck Natural Resources’ Elkview operations this year not only achieved a TSM Leadership Award for a second time, but did so by achieving ‘Level AAA’ performance in all of the programme's indicators and meeting all of the requirements of the ‘Crisis Management Planning Protocol’ during external verification.
"For the first time in TSM's history, we are celebrating a facility for reaching the highest possible level of performance across all of TSM's environmental and social indicators. We congratulate Teck's Elkview operations and their staff for this significant achievement, and we acknowledge all TSM Leadership Award recipients for continuously raising the bar in environmental and social performance," stated MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton.
The 2016 TSM progress report recognises the outstanding performance of six recipients of the TSM Leadership Award, namely Hudbay Minerals and subsidiary Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting; New Gold for its New Afton mine; Suncor Energy for its oil sands facility; Teck Resources for its Elkview operations and the Highland Valley copper mine; and Vale Newfoundland and Labrador for the Voisey's Bay nickel mine.
The 2016 report takes a detailed look at MAC members' efforts to protect the environment and contribute positively to the communities where they operate.
The report includes 2015 performance results for 62 facilities from 22 mining companies, six of which had their results externally verified by a third party. According to the MAC, the 2015 results show that 85% of facilities have a comprehensive management system for energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions, compared with 75% in 2014; 86% have a robust crisis management plan in place at both the facility and corporate levels, compared with 83% in 2014; 95% of facilities engage in effective and meaningful two-way dialogue with communities of interest, including local Aboriginal communities; and all of the facilities implemented a safety and health management system.
"After a little more than a decade of TSM implementation, we have seen a doubling in the number of MAC member facilities implementing good practices across the range of TSM performance areas, demonstrating TSM's effectiveness as a performance driver. Whereas in 2004, many Canadian mining operations' community engagement practices were ad hoc, today the vast majority boast comprehensive systems of engagement, helping to establish strong, productive relationships with local and Indigenous communities," Gratton said in a statement.
He stressed that as a result, TSM has emerged as a proven sustainability standard that is attracting global attention. “Interest and uptake of TSM continues to grow both domestically as well as internationally with the national mining associations of Argentina and Finland both recently adopting TSM for their members,” he said.
TSM's requirements go beyond regulatory obligations and are designed to improve the mining industry's operational performance in key environmental and social areas of mining.