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MAC releases annual Towards Sustainable Mining Progress Report

A progress report released today by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has revealed substantial progress in external outreach and crisis management planning for Canadian mining companies participating in Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM), MAC’s corporate social responsibility initiative.   

TSM focuses on improving the mining industry's sustainable development performance. Member companies follow guiding principles and report on indicators that measure their performance for specific mining activities such as tailings management, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management, external outreach and crisis management.   

“I am pleased to report that over 75 percent of companies and facilities have crisis management plans developed and reviewed under TSM” noted Julie Gelfand, MAC’s Vice President Sustainable Development.   “Between 60 and 70 percent of Canadian facilities have now reached or exceeded good performance in dealing with their communities of interest.” 

The TSM Progress Report also highlighted ongoing efforts to improve results in other performance areas.  To improve performance on energy use and GHG emissions, MAC has developed an Energy and GHG Emissions Management Guidance Document and held workshops with member companies.  MAC will also release an updated Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities and a new Guide to Audit and Assessment of Tailings Facility Management later this fall to help members continually improve their tailings management performance.

This was a year of progress for TSM with the development of four new performance elements: Safety and Health, Mining and Aboriginal Peoples, Biodiversity and Mine Closure.

“After a year of consultation, both the TSM Aboriginal Relations and Mine Closure frameworks were approved by the MAC Board of Directors and we have recently field-tested indicators on Biodiversity Conservation,” noted Gordon R. Peeling, President and CEO of MAC.  “Our goal is continuous improvement for our members and for MAC’s work on TSM.  We will therefore continue to better TSM so that it remains a leader in corporate social responsibility in Canada.”

MAC also honoured a number of member companies and their facilities for their high levels of TSM performance in 2008.  This year’s winners include IAMGOLD Corporation, Inmet Mining, and BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc.  A facility’s 2008 TSM results must have been externally verified for a facility to be eligible for this recognition.

In their 2009 report, the Canadian Business of Social Responsibility (CBSR) found TSM to be a leading program when compared to ten other established CSR programs for extractive industries, according to the degree of prescription, guidance, and compliance.  In 2008, a study by Five Winds/Strandberg Consulting found TSM met or exceeded best practice on key sustainability benchmarks released by Natural Resources Canada.  MAC also won a Globe Foundation award in 2005 for its work on TSM.

The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members are engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.