Mining & Sustainability: Botswana chamber adopts Canada’s sustainable mining program

Sustainability in Botswana Mining

The Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) has announced that it will adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a corporate social responsibility programme developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to improve environmental and social practices in the mining industry.

This is first time that TSM has been adopted by a mining association in Africa. BCM is also the third organisation outside Canada to adopt the initiative.

FinnMin, the Finnish Mining Association, adopted the TSM in November 2015 and the Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros, the Argentinean Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs, adopted the initiative in October 2016.

BCM members subscribe to the principles of responsible mining and extraction of minerals from the earth. The adoption of TSM will enable the industry to demonstrate adherence to sound and sustainable minerals development practices and strive towards continual improvement,” stated BCM CEO Charles Siwawa.

MAC and its members launched the TSM in 2004. Implementation of the programme is mandatory for all MAC members’ Canadian operations, but many also voluntarily apply it to their international sites.

The TSM requires mining companies to assess, on a yearly basis, their facilities’ performance across six important areas, including tailings management, community outreach, health and safety, biodiversity conservation, crisis management and energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions management. The results are freely available to the public and are externally verified every three years to ensure the accuracy of what has been reported.

While BCM will tailor its performance areas so that they reflect the unique aspects of its domestic mining sector, they will be at a similar level to those of Canada‘s.

To ensure the TSM reflects the expectations of civil society and industry stakeholders, it was designed and continues to be shaped by an independent, multi-interest advisory panel. As part of its implementation, BCM will implement a similar advisory body to provide this valuable oversight function.

The mineral industry of Botswana has dominated the national economy since the early 1990s. The country is best known as a significant producer of gem-quality diamonds, but it also produces copper, gold, nickel and soda ash.

MAC freely shares the TSM with countries seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries, including engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability

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