IRMA can also be the one mine-site customary that requires group engagement in all steps of the method, which the corporate mentioned is a side of focus. The IRMA customary has essentially the most strong standards associated to ‘truthful labour and phrases of labor, occupational well being and security, and group well being and security.’
By starting a publicly-noticed unbiased third get together audit, SQM can take part as a Member within the Initiative for Accountable Mining Assurance (IRMA) scheme. An audit report will even be shared publicly upon completion, permitting reviewers to know each strengths and challenges on the operation, and can information enhancements, the corporate mentioned.
In the summertime of 2021, Indigenous communities dwelling round Chile’s Atacama salt flat requested authorities to droop SQM’s working permits or sharply scale back its operations till it submits an environmental compliance plan acceptable to regulators.
Chile’s SMA environmental regulator in 2016 charged SQM with overdrawing lithium-rich brine from the Salar de Atacama salt flat, prompting the corporate to develop a $25 million plan to convey its operations again into compliance.
This membership is a part of the corporate’s technique of working to a excessive customary of transparency and public accountability in its company goals on environmental issues, sustainable operations, and social accountability, it mentioned.
Late final yr, SQM additionally introduced it’s collaborating within the UN’s Race To Zero program, and trialling Chile’s first high-tonnage electrical truck for use in low-emission mining operations.
“This can be a step ahead for SQM in our ongoing efforts to proceed to steer the trade when it comes to sustainability commitments and public reportability of our ESG goals,” SQM’s CEO Ricardo Ramos mentioned in a launch.
“SQM’s IRMA membership represents the most recent growth in a slew of inexperienced initiatives, however we’re not stopping right here. Our purpose is to attain the IRMA Transparency Degree by 2022 and IRMA 50 by 2025 and we’re firmly optimistic that we are able to make the modifications essential to fulfill these fastidiously thought of objectives,” Ramos mentioned.
“That is an thrilling time for SQM as we proceed to discover progressive methods to make our lithium manufacturing extra environmentally pleasant whereas listening and supporting our native communities.”
(With information from Reuters)