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Mining major Anglo American stated that its Unki platinum mine in Zimbabwe is the first to publicly commit to be independently audited against the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) Standard 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, customers and the ultimate downstream users of mined products, non-governmental organisations, labour unions, and communities.

The company said that an initial self-assessment was completed by Unki ahead of the independent on-site audit and the operation performed well against the 26 areas covered by the Standard for Responsible Mining, including working conditions, human rights, community and stakeholder engagement, environmental impact, and planning and financing reclamation and closure.

Mark Cutifani

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

He added that as the company’s customers and end consumers who rely on its metals and minerals rightly expect the highest standards of ethical production, Anglo American will be putting all of its managed mines through such rigorous certification processes by 2025.

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 large-scale mining operations developed through consultation with a range of stakeholders.”

She said that 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 Griffth

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.

Anglo American said that Unki has not yet been independently assessed against the standard nor achieved a level of recognition at the time of release of this announcement.

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