Québec Mining Association and members commit to greater CSR accountability

Québec becomes the second province to adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining initiative

MONTREAL, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Québec Mining Association (QMA) today announced its members will adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a program designed to improve environmental and social practices in the Canadian mining industry, over a phased-in four-year period.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and its members launched the TSM initiative in 2004. Today's announcement marks the second provincial mining association to commit to formally implementing the initiative, following the Mining Association of British Columbia's (MABC) adoption of TSM in 2011.

"The QMA's main goal is to promote a responsible, committed and innovative Quebec mining industry. Our members' participation in the TSM initiative is directly aligned with our vision of mining development in Québec. Our methods are recognized across the globe, and we are proud of our industry. The TSM initiative will allow mining companies active in Québec to always aim higher, while supporting a continuous improvement process, thanks to a precise set of performance indicators," said Josée Méthot, President and CEO, QMA.

"We commend the QMA for adopting the TSM initiative, which reflects the Quebec mining industry's commitment to raising the bar for corporate responsibility and to provide communities with a transparent view of their performance in critical environmental and social practices," said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC. "This is milestone for the TSM initiative, helping to expand its reach within Canada and adds to its credibility as an effective mining standard."

The TSM initiative requires mining companies to annually assess their Canadian facilities' performance against 23 indicators under six areas, known as "protocols", including tailings management, Aboriginal and community outreach, biodiversity conservation management, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management, safety and health, and crisis management planning. The results are then externally-verified by trained third-party verifiers every three years to ensure the reported results are accurate. All facility-level results are published each year in annual TSM Progress Reports and are readily available to the public. Members of the QMA that are not MAC members will undergo independent verification of their facility results after four years. MAC members operating in Quebec already report their performance annually.

One of the key strengths of TSM is that mining companies are measured where the mining activity actually takes place - at the facility level. The results, therefore, provide local communities with a meaningful view of how a nearby mine is faring. The program was also designed and continues to be shaped by civil society through the Community of Interest (COI) Advisory Panel. The Panel is an independent, multi-interest (i.e. stakeholder) group that serves as a consultative body to the industry. The Panel played a key role in the program's design, and continues to be integral to its evolution and verification of results. The Panel includes representatives from Aboriginal communities, environmental and social NGOs, international development and labour groups, among others.

"The QMA's adoption of TSM shows a commitment to leadership in environmental and social performance. TSM is important for both its high standards that go beyond provincial regulations and the public reporting that goes with them. This is a good move for industry and all its stakeholders," stated Suzann Méthot (no relation to Josée Méthot), Québec spokesperson for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign.

In 2014, the TSM initiative is celebrating 10 years of driving performance for mining operations across Canada and beyond. TSM has been successful in pushing for continuous progress in the mining sector as evidenced by the results that have seen steady improvement over the duration of the program. For a detailed look at facility-level results of participating mining companies, download the latest TSM Progress Report at www.mining.ca/towards-sustainable-mining.

About the Québec Mining Association
The Québec Mining Association (QMA) was founded in 1936, and speaks proactively for mining companies involved in production, extraction and processing, mining contractors, junior mining companies, and suppliers, institutions, organizations and other partners in the mining sector. The QMA is proud of the 45,000 high-quality jobs and $3.25 billion in annual investment generated by Québec's mining industry over the course of last year. The mission of the QMA is to promote, support and develop a committed, responsible and innovative mining industry in Québec.

About the Mining Association of Canada
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry.  Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.

SOURCE: Mining Association of Canada (MAC)

For further information:

André Lavoie
Québec Mining Association
(418) 657-2016 ext. 107 or alavoie@amq-inc.com

Johanne Senécal
Mining Association of Canada
(613) 371-5007 or jsenecal@mining.ca


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