Botswana adopts Canada's TSM initiative

The Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) 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
Botswana adopts Canada's TSM initiative Botswana adopts Canada's TSM initiative Botswana adopts Canada's TSM initiative Botswana adopts Canada's TSM initiative Botswana adopts Canada's TSM initiative

Debswana's Jwaneng diamond mine in Botswana

Staff reporter

This is first time that TSM has been adopted by a mining association in Africa, and the third to do so outside of Canada. FinnMin, the Finnish Mining Association, adopted TSM in November 2015 and the Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros (CAEM), the Argentinean Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs, adopted the initiative in October 2016.

MAC and its members launched TSM in 2004. Implementation of the programme is mandatory for all MAC members' Canadian operations, but many voluntarily apply it to their international sites. MAC freely shares TSM with other countries seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries, including engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability.

TSM requires mining companies to annually assess their facilities' performance across six important areas, including tailings management, community outreach, safety and health, 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 what has been reported is accurate. 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 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.

Charles Siwawa, CEO of Botswana Chamber of Mines, said: "Botswana Chamber of Mines 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."

Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada, added: "With Botswana's adoption of Towards Sustainable Mining, the programme is now in four countries on four continents, clearly establishing TSM as an emerging global standard. It is our privilege to share our tools and expertise in sustainable and responsible mining practices with a country that is making important strides in sustainable mining development."