Brazil adopts Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Initiative

by Keith Powell
View of lake and hillsides, no trees.

The Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative is a corporate social responsibility program developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to improve environmental and social practices in the mining industry. — Photo courtesy The Mining Association of Canada

Instituto Brasileiro de Mineração (IBRAM), the national mining association in Brazil, announced that it will adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a corporate social responsibility program developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to improve environmental and social practices in the mining industry.

IBRAM joins six other mining associations around the world, including the second in Latin America, in adopting TSM, an increasingly internationally recognized standard for responsible mining.  MAC freely shares TSM with other countries seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries, including tailings management, engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability. IBRAM, with MAC's support, will tailor TSM's performance areas to reflect the unique aspects of its domestic mining sector and commits to TSM implementation over the next five years.

According to Flávio Ottoni Penido, IBRAM's President, TSM is a necessary response by Brazil's mining sector after the tragic tailings dam failures in Brazil in the past few years.  TSM is recognized by many international experts to include international best practices in tailings management, safety and health and other priority areas. "By adopting TSM, we are committing to raise the standards of our industry. TSM will help our mining sector become more transparent, earn the confidence of Brazilian society and achieve its full potential."

"We are honoured that Brazil has chosen TSM as the vehicle to drive environmental and social performance in its mining sector and are proud of TSM's increasingly global reach. TSM adherents now include mining associations in seven countries on five continents," said Pierre Gratton, MAC's President and CEO.  "The addition of IBRAM and Brazil's large mining sector firmly establishes the TSM initiative as a leading global mining standard."

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

TSM requires mining companies to annually assess their facilities' performance across eight important areas, including tailings management, Aboriginal and community outreach, safety and health, and biodiversity conservation. The results are freely available to the public and are externally-verified every three years to ensure what has been reported is accurate.

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, IBRAM will implement a similar advisory body to provide this valuable oversight function.


IBRAM is a private, not-for-profit organization which represents companies and institutions of the mineral sector in seeking to establish a favourable environment for business, competitiveness and sustainable development. IBRAM has built its credibility in the political, economic and social sectors through its ethical approach and technical experience. IBRAM represents the main companies and institutions involved in the mineral sector, focusing on the promotion of sustainable development and the dissemination of the best safety and occupational health practices. Considered to be the spokesperson of Brazilian mining, the association has 130 members who, directly or indirectly, form part of the Brazilian mining sector. These include mining companies; employer's organisations; mineral engineering, environmental and geology companies; equipment manufacturers; technology centres; and investment banks, amongst others. More information:

About MAC

The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal and mined oil sands, and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit

About TSM

The Towards Sustainable Mining initiative is the sustainability standard developed by the Mining Association of Canada. Mining companies are expected to report regularly on the implementation of each protocol. In addition, their activities will be evaluated by an external auditor every three years. Please visit

Related articles

Large piece of machinery with person standing in bucket.
Mining Insider, Exploration, Mines, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon $500,000 federal funding to help promote northern mining at annual conference

The Yukon Mining Alliance will use the funding to help showcase the opportunities in the North at the annual PDAC Conference in Toronto

by Julie Matchett
Geoscience representative discussing info at open house with a man.
Mining Insider, Exploration, Minerals, Mines, British Columbia Geoscience BC targets ‘hidden’ Central Interior copper-gold deposits

The Central Interior Copper-Gold Research series aims to better understand potential deposits, attract investment and encourage exploration

by Julie Matchett
Close-up picture of PDAC Award, showing two stylized white hands holding up a transparent diamond shape printed with PDAC logo.
Mining Insider, Exploration, First Nations, Minerals, Mines, Global PDAC 2020 awards honour industry leaders

The 2020 PDAC Award recipients have been announced, celebrating outstanding achievement in the Canadian and international mining industry

by Julie Matchett
View all Mining Insider articles