Canadian Mining Industry Global First Third Party Verification on Sustainability



    OTTAWA, Aug. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
announced the results today of a global first: the third party verification of
sustainability performance for key environmental and social issues of concern
to the industry and its stakeholders. The results of the verification were
released in the 2006 TSM Progress Report.
    Now in its fourth year, MAC's Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative
has helped the Canadian mining industry improve its performance by setting
performance standards for key areas -- tailings management, energy use and
greenhouse gas emissions management, external outreach, and crisis management
planning. 2007 has been a noteworthy year for the Association and its member
companies with the adoption of programs to improve dialogue with Aboriginal
communities, a pledge to contribute to global biodiversity conservation in
their operations, and the adoption of third party verification.
    "Our verification program demonstrates MAC members' commitment to
transparency and accountability, and our on-going dialogue with those who
share a stake in a viable and sustainable Canadian mining industry", said
Gordon Peeling, President and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada. "This
makes MAC the first mining association in the world to implement credible
third party verification in a consistent way across its membership."

    How Third Party Verification Works

    In this first year of implementation, 10 MAC members have had their TSM
performance results externally verified. Subsequent years will follow an
annual rotation, with one-third of MAC members undergoing external
verification each year. MAC member companies complete a self-assessment, using
TSM protocols developed by MAC, to assign performance ratings to each of their
facilities. Similar to other forms of audit, the specially trained
Verification Service Provider (VSP) verifies the accuracy of these
self-assessments. The VSP uses standard verification methods to obtain and
assess information, including a review of relevant documentation, interviews
with company personnel and, when appropriate, interviews with local
communities of interest. At the conclusion of the process, the VSP issues a
verification statement and report, and the CEO or authorized officer provides
a letter of assurance to MAC confirming that the verification has been
conducted. The CEO letters are posted on MAC's website.
    MAC has been assisted throughout this process by a 14-member Community of
Interest Advisory Panel. The Panel has advised MAC on the design of the
external verification system, and will review a sample of company verification
results each year. A statement by the Panel appears in the TSM Progress
Report. The report also includes year-to-year comparison of TSM performance,
comprehensive environmental release data and information regarding a number of
the mining industry's environmental research initiatives and multi-stakeholder
partnerships.
    MAC also implemented a sustainability award system for its members this
year to recognize facilities that achieved high levels of TSM performance. To
be eligible for an award, a facility's performance had to be externally
verified. The TSM Progress Report lists the award recipients.

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




For further information:

For further information: Pierre Gratton at (613) 233-9392 ext 319 -
pgratton@mining.ca; For additional background information on TSM and the
verification system, see the link below:
http://www.mining.ca/www/Towards_Sustaining_Mining/External_Verification
Introduction.php


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