The Mining, Minerals, and Metals (M3) Standards Partnership is a collaboration of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), ResponsibleSteel, and Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM). The M3 Partnership, made possible by the ISEAL Innovations Fund with support by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, aims to identify opportunities for alignment and collective action to drive improvement in social and environmental performance.
The M3 Partnership Integrated Assessment Protocol (M3 IAP) is a tool designed to allow mine sites to be assessed against multiple site-level standards in a single audit, supporting identification of alignment across standards, and promoting demonstration of conformity with multiple standards with greater efficiency and reduced cost. The M3 IAP is responsive to concerns that the number of mining standards can be confusing, costly, time-consuming, risk greenwashing, and reduce the effectiveness of all.
The M3 IAP was developed for the M3 Partnership to facilitate integrated assessment to their respective standards and assurance frameworks. It is not intended to render legal advice or to establish definitive criteria to represent industry best practice.
We strive to ensure the information in this publication is accurate, complete, and useful. However, neither the M3 Partnership, its members, or their development partner, ERM, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information herein; or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights; or assumes any liability with respect to the use of, or for damages resulting from the use of any information, method or process disclosed in this tool.
Other institutions, organizations and agencies are cautioned not to use this information without significant review and scrutiny.
The IAP assessment criteria were developed by mapping the requirements of IRMA, RJC, and TSM against a detailed set of themes and subthemes. Under each subtheme, an assessment question, or a series of questions, was generated to reflect the scope relevant across the three standards. Each question was then linked to the original requirement of each standard, if applicable. As a result, a question could be mapped to one standard or any combination of standards including all three.
Similarly, guidance, either deemed mandatory or informative, was included as it was mapped to the original requirement of the standard.
The mapping was reviewed and agreed to by the three M3 Partnership members, and their requested edits were addressed in producing a final version, which was then inserted in the IAP workbook’s data table.
Two pilots using the IAP tool informed further updates to the tool. One pilot was conducted with an Anglo American Platinum Group Metals mine in South Africa measured against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining and the RJC Code of Practices Standard. Another pilot was conducted with ArcelorMittal Mining Canada against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining and TSM. The M3 Partnership plans to expand this tool over time to include additional standards and intends to release updated versions of the tool as this work is completed.