June 7, 2004

Mining Assn marks official launch of Towards Sustainable Mining initiative

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has formally launched its Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. The goal of TSM is to improve the performance of Canadian mining companies and as a result, increase public trust in the mining industry's ability to manage environmental and social issues important to Canadians.

TSM encompasses both environmental management and stakeholder includision practices, and is based on fundamental principles of transparency, accountability and excellence. It focuses on four key areas:

tailings management, including the implementation of a best practice tailings policy and management system;

energy management, involving energy use and greenhouse gas management and reporting;

external outreach to stakeholders, including performance reporting; and

crisis communications, including crisis management preparedness and training.

Over time, TSM will be expanded to address other matters such as closure planning and reclamation, community development and Aboriginal relations.

"Towards Sustainable Mining marks a major shift in the way the mining industry operates and does business in Canada," said MAC chair Jim Carter, who is also president and chief operating officer of Syncrude. "In order to grow and prosper, the mining industry needs to retain and sustain the public's trust. That is why we have launched TSM, which is designed to ensure the actions and activities of our industry are aligned with the values of local communities, employees, stakeholders and the public at large," he added.

"As a result of TSM, our member companies will operate in a different manner by not only focusing on issues relevant to Canadians, but reporting back to them on the progress the industry is making," said MAC president and CEO Gordon Peeling.

TSM is the culmination of considerable dialogue within the mining industry; it also reflects input from various interests including government, mining communities, Aboriginal groups and non-governmental organizations. The development process has been under way since 2002 when MAC's board of directors adopted a three-year plan which set out a number of ambitious tasks. Among these was the development of performance indicators for the four elements noted above, along with the development of indicators for three more performance areas by the end of 2004. Other tasks include establishing a Community of Interest Advisory Panel, designing a system to verify performance, and developing TSM-based criteria for membership in MAC.

More information is available is available from MAC, 613/233-9391, Web site www.mining.ca.

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