Standard Development Process
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IRMA is in the process of developing its Standard for Responsible Mining. The first draft of the IRMA Standard was released in July 2014. The draft Standard has gone through one public comment period, and will continue to be revised based on a combination of stakeholder consultations, expert advice and learning from on-the-ground field tests. In 2016, the IRMA Steering Committee will decide whether or not the Standard for Responsible Mining meets its vision of a best-practice standard. After the Standard is finalized, IRMA will launch its certification system.
IRMA developed a draft IRMA Standard Development Procedure document that outlines the requirements and procedures to be followed by IRMA for the development, review, modification and approval of IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining. These procedures are designed to comply with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards (2010). The objective of these procedures is to ensure the credibility of IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining by incorporating the values of transparency, participation and fairness into the processes for their development, and through compliance with international best practice for standards development.
- Download a copy of the draft IRMA Standard Development Procedure (12-02-2013).
- Comment on the draft IRMA Standard Development Procedure: We welcome comments on the draft IRMA Standard Development Procedure. You may submit comments on the procedure to IRMA Standards Coordinator, Lisa Sumi, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
IRMA is striving to follow an extensive ISEAL-compliant stakeholder feedback process, including webinars and workshops with interested stakeholders, to gather input and respond to stakeholder suggestions and concerns about the draft Standard for Responsible Mining. Interested stakeholders can view a timeline of stakeholder consultations on the draft Standard, or comment on the current draft (v.2.0) of the draft Standard.
The draft Standard is being field tested at specific mine sites to test how it works “on the ground” and how it reads to an independent auditor. The field tests involve simulated audits, where auditors hired by IRMA review company documentation, make first-hand observations at the mine sites, and conduct interviews with company representatives and other stakeholders, including workers and community members to determine where improvements might be made to the IRMA Standard. The auditors provide IRMA with feedback on whether the requirements in the draft Standard are clear and understandable to auditors, company representatives and stakeholders; if the requirements are achievable; and whether they requirements are auditable (i.e., is it possible for a company to provide an auditor with sufficient evidence to verify that a requirement has been met).
- The first field test was conducted in October 2015, at the Stillwater Mining Company's platinum/palladium mine in Montana, USA. Read the Stillwater mine field test report.
- In March 2016, a second field test was conducted in Zimbabwe, at Anglo American's Unki Platinum mine. Read the Unki mine field test report.
- In June 2016, a desktop field test of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent chapter was conducted with First Nations leaders and technicians and independent auditors in British Columbia.
Information from all of the field tests is helping to inform revisions to the draft IRMA Standard, as well as the future design of IRMA's verification program.