May 9, 2005

MAC chief urges firms to sign on to sustainability program

In a keynote address to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) conference in Toronto recently, Inmet Mining CEO Richard Ross urged all Canadian mining companies to sign on to the Mining Association of Canada's Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. Ross, who is also chair of MAC, emphasized that it is important for the Canadian industry to embrace sustainability.

"As we all know, it only takes one bad apple to impact on the industry's reputation," he pointed out. "We need the entire industry to find the value that we have in TSM so that we can all work together in pursuit of sustainability."

TSM, formally launched at last year's CIM conference, is a stewardship initiative focused on improving the mining industry's environmental, economic and social performance. TSM participants adhere to a comprehensive set of guiding principles addressing all aspects of mining industry activity. Companies report on a range of key performance indicators addressing areas such as tailings management, energy use and greenhouse gas management, external outreach and crisis management planning. The initiative is supported by a 14-member Community of Interest (COI) advisory panel.

TSM is not just for large mining companies. "As a relatively modest sized mining company, Inmet has fully embraced TSM," Ross noted. He acknowledged that "TSM certainly comes with a cost in terms of resources, but the benefits are clear... All companies, and particularly the smaller ones, should realize that if they sign onto TSM they will immediately have access to years of work in this area by some of the most experienced individuals in their fields," he explained.

TSM is here to stay, Ross continued, and in the longer term, companies seeking financing or political support can look forward to being asked, by financial institutions or government officials and representatives, about their compliance with TSM. "I also expect that at some stage in the future, your communities will be coming directly to you to find out what you are doing about TSM," he added.

In the year since its launch, adherence to TSM has been made a condition of membership in MAC. New performance indicators, along with a verification system, are under development. Earlier this year, MAC released the first TSM Progress Report documenting the results of member company performance measured against TSM indicators. (The full report may be viewed on the MAC Web site, www.mining.ca).

More information is available from Pierre Gratton at the MAC, 613/233-9392, ext 319.

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