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Quebec Mining Association and members commit to greater CSR accountability

Quebec becomes the second province to adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining initiative

The Québec Mining Association (QMA) has announced its members will adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a program designed to improve environmental and social practices in the Canadian mining industry, over a phased-in four-year period.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and its members launched the TSM initiative in 2004. The announcement marks the second provincial mining association to commit to formally implementing the initiative, following the Mining Association of British Columbia's (MABC) adoption of TSM in 2011.

"The QMA's main goal is to promote a responsible, committed and innovative Quebec mining industry. Our members' participation in the TSM initiative is directly aligned with our vision of mining development in Québec. Our methods are recognized across the globe, and we are proud of our industry. The TSM initiative will allow mining companies active in Québec to always aim higher, while supporting a continuous improvement process, thanks to a precise set of performance indicators," said Josée Méthot, President and CEO, QMA.

"We commend the QMA for adopting the TSM initiative, which reflects the Quebec mining industry's commitment to raising the bar for corporate responsibility and to provide communities with a transparent view of their performance in critical environmental and social practices," said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC. "This is milestone for the TSM initiative, helping to expand its reach within Canada and adds to its credibility as an effective mining standard."

The TSM initiative requires mining companies to annually assess their Canadian facilities' performance against 23 indicators under six areas, known as "protocols", including tailings management, Aboriginal and community outreach, biodiversity conservation management, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management, safety and health, and crisis management planning. The results are then externally-verified by trained third-party verifiers every three years to ensure the reported results are accurate. All facility-level results are published each year in annual TSM Progress Reports and are readily available to the public at www.mining.ca/towards-sustainable-mining

Members of the QMA that are not MAC members will undergo independent verification of their facility results after four years. MAC members operating in Quebec already report their performance annually.

One of the key strengths of TSM is that mining companies are measured where the mining activity actually takes place at the facility level. The results, therefore, provide local communities with a meaningful view of how a nearby mine is faring. The program was also designed and continues to be shaped by civil society through the Community of Interest (COI) Advisory Panel. The Panel is an independent, multi-interest (i.e. stakeholder) group that serves as a consultative body to the industry. The Panel played a key role in the program's design, and continues to be integral to its evolution and verification of results. The Panel includes representatives from Aboriginal communities, environmental and social NGOs, international development and labour groups, among others.

"The QMA's adoption of TSM shows a commitment to leadership in environmental and social performance. TSM is important for both its high standards that go beyond provincial regulations and the public reporting that goes with them. This is a good move for industry and all its stakeholders," stated Suzann Méthot (no relation to Josée Méthot), Québec spokesperson for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign.

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