Driving Responsible Mining Practices through Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration

Learn how multi-stakeholder collaboration is driving responsible mining practices and higher standards in the industry in this episode of On the Rocks!

The mining industry has faced growing calls in recent years for more responsible and sustainable practices. In response, groups like the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) have formed to bring together diverse stakeholders - from mining companies to local communities - to develop and drive adoption of higher standards across the sector.

Recently on the On the Rocks Podcast, host Emily King spoke with Aimee Boulanger, the Executive Director of IRMA, about the organization's origins, approach, and impact. Their insightful conversation highlighted the challenges and importance of credible assurance in mining, the need for honest dialog about industrial extraction's true impacts, and the role of shared value creation in lifting performance over time.

While trust and alignment across mining stakeholders remain elusive, IRMA provides a forum focused squarely on continuous advancement. Core assurance components such as transparency, equal governance, regular external auditing, and public scoring aim specifically to rebuild confidence. Rather than enable self-proclaimed but empty gestures of corporate social responsibility, IRMA ties verified performance to economic benefits like investor capital, customer demand, license to operate, and talent acquisition. Its multi-stakeholder accent contrasts with industry associations singularly steered by mining companies themselves. While collaboration can accelerate progress, independence plays a pivotal role in establishing credibility.

IRMA continues updating its standards while launching independent audits of mine sites. Despite lingering mistrust in many corners, its model offers a collaborative path forward for the mining industry meeting rising expectations. Constructive multi-stakeholder initiatives may be the surest way to balance complex tradeoffs and steadily elevate responsible practices over the long term.

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