Multi-stakeholder Leadership: Fundamental to IRMA.

Governance Model

IRMA is currently governed by an active Steering Committee with two representatives from each of five sectors including mining companies, companies that purchase mined materials to make other products, non-governmental organizations, affected communities, and organized labor.


IRMA Steering Committee members strive to make decisions by consensus. Where they cannot achieve this, they agree to vote. However, any vote which results in two "no" votes from the same sector does not pass and the issue must go back to the full group for further discussion and resolution. This means that even if a topic has 8 out of 10 votes, it can't pass if one of the stakeholder groups is fundamentally opposed. Yes, we know; it's hard. This is part of why it took more than a decade for IRMA to get to this moment -- with a shared definition of "responsible mining" as manifest in the Standard for Responsible Mining (it also took this long because mining is complex). However, it's also what is special and unique about IRMA, offering credibility as well as accountability.

IRMA Leadership

The following leaders are current or recent Steering Committee members and their good faith willingness to work together and find solutions that meet needs of diverse people and perspectives are also what make IRMA uniquely accountable to very different stakeholders.

Mining Industry Representatives

Jon Samuel, Group Head of Social Performance and Engagement, Anglo American

As one of the world's largest mining companies, Anglo American supports the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance because we believe that our industry supports, and can make further contributions to, sustainable socio-economic development. This objective will best be achieved within a framework of high, trusted standards that can apply to all mining operations and that all key stakeholders subscribe to.

Alan Knight, General Manager, Head of Corporate Responsibility, ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal believes that, although challenging and rigorous, the Standard for Responsible Mining is possible to implement over time. It serves as a credible multi-stakeholder tool to allow participating mines to differentiate themselves as leaders in environmental and social responsibility. We commend the addition of a scoring-tool that allows mines at all levels to demonstrate continuing improvement in the areas of social and environmental responsibility.

Downstream Purchaser Representatives

Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability Officer at Tiffany & Co. and Chairman and President of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation

For over 175 years, Tiffany & Co. has looked to the beauty and bounty of the natural world for design inspiration and the precious materials that give life to our designs. We recognize the moral imperative to safeguard this natural beauty and believe IRMA will promote greater environmental stewardship in mining operations and inspire consumer confidence in the industry.

Joan Krajewski, General Manager, Compliance and Safety, Microsoft

We're pleased and honored to be a part of IRMA's Steering Committee. Microsoft believes that fairly applied global mining standards such as those developed by IRMA are key to helping solve labor, human rights, and environmental issues at the far reaches of the industry's supply chains. Collaborative initiatives like these can help improve practices associated with mining of metal ores at their source, which is why we work closely with and support IRMA.

Non-Government Organization Representatives

Payal Sampat, International Program Director, Earthworks

Earthworks believes that IRMA’s strength lies in the authentic engagement of both corporate and civil society stakeholders, and its commitment to raising the bar on environmental and human rights standards for mining. This kind of debate and dialogue between parties who don't always see eye to eye isn't easy - but it's essential to building a robust, credible system for improving mining practices.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa Director with the Africa Division, Human Rights Watch 

IRMA's multistakeholder governance, human rights standards incorporation, and the accountability that this brings is very important to Human Rights Watch. At IRMA’s table, civil society voices are able to lead in a fair and equal manner.” 

Organized Labor Representatives 

Glen Mpufane, Director Mining, IndustriALL Global Union

In responding to the urgent challenges of sustainable development, IndustriALL Global Union, as the world’s biggest global union, is proud to be associated with IRMA in a joint effort to develop a credible multi-stakeholder certification and assurance reporting system for the mining industry.

– Kemal Ozkan, Assistant General Secretary, IndustriALL Global Union

Mark Rowlinson, Assistant to the National Director, United Steelworkers Canada

The United Steelworkers is the largest mining union in North America with very close relationships with mining unions throughout the world. We believe by working together globally with communities, non-governmental organizations, the mining industry and downstream users of mining that we can improve mining practices so that all stakeholders can benefit.

Affected Communities Representatives

NOTE: Current representatives transitioning in 2018; new Community Sector nominees invited. Email for details

Larson Bill, Western Shoshone; Community Planner, Western Shoshone Defense Project.

Indigenous communities around the globe face many threats to our lands, people and cultures. The Western Shoshone Defense Project welcomes IRMA’s leadership in this cooperative effort and are hopeful that IRMA will reduce these impacts in the mining sector.

Jacinda Mack, Secwepemc and Nuxalk Nations; Coordinator, First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining.

While First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining has many concerns with the impacts of industrial-scale mining, and we know that IRMA won’t be able to resolve many of these issues, we believe it's a powerful new tool for increasing transparency via the multi-stakeholder governance and for the accountability that it brings. Civil society and Indigenous voices are able to lead at IRMA’s table in a fair and equal manner that is too often lacking.


The Steering Committee is actively recruiting additional organizations to serve as IRMA contributors and subscribers in the development stage and members when IRMA launches as a formal assurance system.  Current contributors include:

Jewelers of America, represented by Susan Posnock, Director of Public Affairs and Education

Jewelers of America participates in and supports initiatives such as the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), that are working to develop responsibly sourced supply chains for gold and other minerals.

Oxfam America, represented by Keith Slack, Global Program Manager, Extractive Industries

           International Boreal Conservation Campaign, Alan Young, Senior Advisor

The International Boreal Conservation Campaign sees IRMA as the best way to pursue excellence and innovation in terms of real conservation and social responsibility leadership in the mining industry. The multi-sector nature of the work, credible verification system and integrated approach to standards make this a unique and invaluable endeavour.


IRMA Governance in Transition: From Steering Committee to Board of Directors

During the 2018-19 Launch Phase, IRMA will be transitioning to a membership organization in which members will be able to elect Board representatives for their respective sectors. The Board of Directors will consist of sector representatives, skilled experts, and select appointees.

Current Sectors include: 

  • Mining-affected Communities, 
  • Labor, 
  • NGOs, 
  • Mining Companies, 
  • Purchasing/Downstream Companies

IRMA Board of Directors composition:

  • Member elected Directors (representing each sector)
  • Board appointed Directors (representing each sector)
  • Board appointed Directors (selected for balance, expertise, and skills)

A Governance and Nominations Committee will be tasked to assure the Board has balanced sector based representation along with essential skills. Pertinent documents will be public as soon as possible. 

Governance Rules and Procedures

The IRMA Steering Committee operates with a set of rules and procedures that it has adopted as its interim governance system until such time that IRMA is established as an independent entity with its own formal statutes and bylaws. The transition to an independent entity is in progress. The IRMA Interim Governance Rules and Procedures document includes sections on:

  • Principles of engagement
  • Vision and mission
  • Commitments and responsibilities of IRMA Contributor Organizations
  • Commitments, responsibilities, terms, and rules of operation and decision-making for the IRMA Steering Committee
  • IRMA standards development
  • Establishment of IRMA as a Membership Organization

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IRMA Fundamentals

  • The IRMA Standard is targeted at industrial-scale mines. IRMA collaborates with initiatives for responsible small-scale and artisanal mining.
  • IRMA works across all locations, commodities and mine types. However, IRMA does not provide assurance for oil, gas, uranium and other energy fuels.
  • IRMA collaborates with other sustainability standards initiatives for the extractives sector to provide complete solutions for certification, traceability and labeling.


Photo: Earthworks