IRMA Certification

Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance Program

What is IRMA Certification?

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is an internationally recognized voluntary assurance program aiming to improve mining operations’ performance. 

Mine sites that choose to invest in an IRMA assessment have their environmental and social performance measured by independent audit teams. An IRMA assessment digs deep, with over 400 requirements, including human rights, air and water quality, occupational health and safety, financial security, and community contribution and investment. 

SCS Global Services recognizes achievement in responsible mining best practices. Our IRMA audit teams comprise a global network of environmental, social, and mining-sector experts that bring exceptional detail and quality to each project. Assessment inquiries and interviews with companies and community stakeholders encourage respectful, meaningful dialog leading to better ways of thinking and innovation, even after the mine assessments are complete.

IRMA was developed with stakeholder participation in mind. To view public announcements of mines currently undergoing on-site IRMA audits or to leave stakeholder feedback for a mine currently being audited, please click here.

Why Choose SCS?

Fully independent, third-party verification is critical to stakeholder acceptance. SCS Global Services has led third-party environmental and social auditing and sustainability certification for 38 years. Our expertise, certifications, and accreditations, including the IRMA, ISO 17021, Responsible Minerals Assurance Program (RMAP), Forest Stewardship Council, and others, have allowed us to support the certification of more than 6,000 companies spanning six continents. A full list of our accreditations is found here.

  • Program Details
  • Process
  • Benefits
  • Program Documents

Eligible Operations

IRMA applies globally to mines of all types,  excluding the energy sector - oil, gas, coal, and uranium. 

Mine sites can self-assess their performance against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining Assurance, the self-assessment tool available here:

Responsible Mining Verification

The IRMA Standard recognizes different performance levels (IRMA 50, 75, 100), with certification awarded to mines achieving IRMA100 as verified through criteria in four principal areas:

  • Business Integrity
  • Planning for Positive Legacies
  • Social Responsibility
  • Environmental Responsibility
  1. First, our audit team will review your IRMA Application and mine site self-assessment. This will help us to understand your operations – its complexities and associated requirements – and guide you in your certification journey. A readiness check of the evidence equips site teams for assessment before each audit begins.
  2. Next, we will perform a document review of evidence against the IRMA Standard. Also known as a Stage 1 or desktop review, the output of this step is an initial, draft record of assessment scores and findings.
  3. In this step, auditors plan a visit compatible with the schedules and safety procedures at the mine to document how the operation conforms to the IRMA Standard in practice. Also known as a Stage 2 Assessment, our audit team will tour your operation and its cultural and ecological setting, review objective evidence, and interview mine site employees, contractors, and stakeholders to verify conformity to the IRMA Standard practices.
  4. In this final step, we prepare a report summarizing mine site performance as verified in Stage 1 & 2 of the assessment. Upon mine site team approval, this report is finalized for administrative review and acceptance within the IRMA system (i.e. 50, 75, 100), allowing us to issue a certification decision.

SCS can also provide client marketing support.

SCS recognizes achievement in mine site best practices, helping our clients gain a competitive edge, minimize risk, and fuel a culture of continuous improvement.

A growing body of evidence suggests that implementation of IRMA and other sustainability initiatives with the simple goal of amplifying impact and positive benefits fosters greater dialog and collaboration in the work environment, creates shared value between operating mines and nearby communities, provides incentives for retaining top talent, and increases the likelihood of profitability. 

Document your leadership, build shared value, and meet manufacturers' requirements. 

File Name Document
IRMA Standard v.1.0 2018 English

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Susan Courter