The Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) Community of Interest Advisory Panel has selected Iamgold to receive a Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Excellence Award in recognition of its innovative sustainability projects focused on community engagement and environmental stewardship.
In 2010, Iamgold’s Essakane mine in Burkina Faso recognized the need to enhance its plastic waste management. Because the region lacked a recycling facility, the mine was burying large quantities of plastic on site.
By working with a new plastics recycling company, the mine was able to avoid burying plastic while also supporting the recycling business. The recycler shreds different types of plastics and bags the resulting granules in reusable bags to be resold.
The not only enhances the management of plastic waste, creates permanent jobs for community members, and is entirely led by the local community, but also can be easily replicated in surrounding communities.
This innovative plastic shredding unit can be replicated in any location, remote or urban, where there is a problem related to the recycling of plastic sheeting. The recycling company working with Iamgold plans to collect plastic waste in the region outside the immediate mine site.
Since its inception, over 65 tons of plastics that had previously been stored on the mine site have been recycled. The achievement in reducing the mine’s environmental footprint has inspired local community members to set up businesses to recycle other types of waste.
MAC and sustainable mining
First established in 2004, the globally recognized Towards Sustainable Mining program supports mining companies in managing key environmental and social risks. Through TSM, eight critical aspects of social and environmental performance are evaluated, independently validated, and publicly reported against 30 distinct performance indicators.
“TSM is a mandatory component of MAC’s membership aimed at driving performance improvement and leadership in sustainability,” said Pierre Gratton, MAC’s president and CEO.
“Some mining companies go above and beyond in demonstrating truly innovative community engagement and environmental stewardship practices and are honoured by the annual TSM Excellence Awards in recognition of having done exemplary work in sustainable mining.”
Established in 2014, the TSM Excellence Awards include the TSM Environmental Excellence Award and the TSM Community Engagement Excellence Award. To be eligible for the awards, mining companies must be actively implementing the TSM initiative.
TSM is overseen by the Community of Interest Advisory Panel, which consists of individuals from Indigenous groups, environmental organizations, labour representatives, individuals involved in finance, local mining communities, social and faith-based organizations, academics and those involved in international development. The Advisory Panel provides guidance and advice on the development and implementation of TSM and selects the winners of the TSM Excellence Awards.