Albemarle Begins Third-Party Audit in Chile Using IRMA's Standard for Responsible Mining
IRMA is globally considered the most comprehensive and rigorous certification standard for assurance of responsible mining. The organization specifies objectives and requirements with the greatest depth, breadth, and specificity for environmentally and socially responsible mining practices.
Albemarle's third-party audit makes the company the first global lithium producer to commence such an assessment using the rigorous IRMA Standard. ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS), an IRMA-approved certification body, is executing the audit, which includes a desk review followed by an onsite audit.
Prior to beginning the independent audit with ERM CVS, Albemarle was the first lithium producer to complete and submit IRMA's self-assessment process at the Salar Plant in
"How we produce lithium in the Salar de Atacama is as important as how much lithium we produce. We are committed to operating transparently and growing responsibly as part of a sustainable supply chain that helps our customers reach their sustainability goals," said
"We appreciate Albemarle's leadership in initiating such a rigorous review and encourage the various stakeholders to share their perspectives with the auditors," said
Albemarle shareholders, customers, employees, and the public can visit the Mines Under Assessment page of IRMA's website for updated information on the company's third-party audit. For more information about IRMA, please refer to www.responsiblemining.net.
Albemarle's Sustainable Commitments in
Albemarle's freshwater rights at the Salar make up 0.5%, or less than 23.5 liters per second (L/s), of the total freshwater rights in the Salar de Atacama basin. Of those rights, the company uses only 9 L/s for its camp, producing potassium chloride, and rinsing equipment. The company uses no fresh water in its brine extraction and concentration process.
The company recently committed to reducing the intensity of freshwater use by 25% by 2030 in areas of high and extremely high-water risk as defined by the World Resources Institute, which includes the Antofagasta region. To that end, Albemarle has invested
Albemarle also shares 3.5% of revenues from its Chilean operations with local indigenous communities that are part of the Council of Atacameño Peoples, through a historic agreement signed in 2016. These 18 communities are responsible for selecting and implementing the projects to be funded by these Albemarle resources. To date, communities have built new and expanded water systems locally; constructed a wastewater treatment plant; built two photovoltaic plants; installed photovoltaic panels on homes; reduced reliance on diesel generators, and provided more than 500 scholarships. Lastly, five communities are in the process of building or have completed community centers.
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IRMA envisions a world where the mining industry respects the human rights and aspirations of affected communities; provides safe, healthy, and supportive workplaces; minimizes harm to the environment, and leaves positive legacies. IRMA offers objective, independent third-party verification of industrial-scale mine sites against a comprehensive definition of responsible mining agreed to through a collaborative, multi-stakeholder process. This definition, which forms the basis of IRMA's Standard for Responsible Mining, covers the full range of issues related to the impacts of mining.
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