Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of multinational mining company Anglo American

HARARE – Johannesburg listed resources outfit, Anglo American announced on Monday that its Zimbabwe based platinum mining unit, Unki, became the first worldwide to sign up for the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining’.

By appending its signature to be audited against the standard, Unki publicly committed abide by the demands for responsible mining.

IRMA’s standard for responsible mining has been developed over ten years through a public consultation process with more than 100 different individuals and organisations, including mining companies.

Anglo said an initial self-assessment had been completed by Unki ahead of the independent on-site audit.

It said Unki performed well against the 26 areas covered by the standard, including working conditions, human rights, community and stakeholder engagement, environmental impact, and planning and financing reclamation and closure.

“We have a longstanding commitment as a leader in responsible mining, with numerous examples of our progressive business decisions across many decades,” said Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American.

“We are pleased that Unki will be the first mine in the world to publicly commit to a third party audit to determine its performance against IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining. As our customers and end consumers who rely on our metals and minerals rightly expect the highest standards of ethical production, we will be putting all our managed mines through such rigorous certification processes by 202,” he said.

Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA commented: “While IRMA is a voluntary certification system meant to complement strong laws and government oversight, it is also the world’s first and only global definition of what constitutes leading practices in social and environmental responsibility for largescale mining operations developed through consultation with a range of stakeholders. It is the product of ten years of collaboration between our stakeholders that seeks to emulate for mining what has been done with certification programmes in fair-trade agriculture, responsible forestry and sustainable fisheries, as examples.  

“We are extremely pleased to see Anglo American’s Unki mine take the lead and begin the third-party certification process. We hope that this paves the way for others across the industry to make a similar commitment.”

Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said: “The IRMA self-assessment tool has provided us with a valuable opportunity to measure our performance at Unki mine against international best practice on a wide range of environmental and societal factors. We are immensely proud of the work the team has been doing at Unki on responsible and sustainable mining, and we look forward to continue leading the way for our other mining operations.”

Unki is the first of many Anglo American operations to be measured against the IRMA standard, in line with the commitment in our Sustainable Mining Plan to have all of our operations assessed against credible responsible mining standards by 2025.

Other Anglo American operations currently completing the IRMA self-assessment stage include the Barro Alto nickel operation in Brazil and the Amandelbult PGM operation in South Africa.