The Finnish Mining Association FinnMin has signed an agreement to adopt the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative.

TSM is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme aimed at enhancing environmental, as well as social practices in the mining industry.

The latest agreement between FinnMin and MAC represents the initial step towards the implementation of a new sustainability standard in the Finnish mining sector.

Expected to contribute to the transparency and accountability of the mining industry, the initiative will improve social acceptance among the different stakeholders in Finnish society.

"We at FinnMin believe it will be a useful tool for Finnish mining companies when the companies develop their sustainability reporting in the future."

FinnMin chairman Markus Ekberg said: "TSM has proven its effectiveness in Canada, and we at FinnMin believe it will be a useful tool for Finnish mining companies when the companies develop their sustainability reporting in the future."

The adoption of TSM by FinnMin is part of MAC’s proposal to share the initiative with other countries, which are on look out for new tools to improve the environmental performance of their mining industry.

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FinnMin’s implementation of the initiative should contain TSM guiding principles, performance indicators, facility-level reporting and independent verification of performance results.

Other requirements to be present in the implementation are public reporting of facility-level performance, community of interest (CoI) advisory body and condition of membership.

The association will have to demonstrate that the seven minimum components are implemented within the first five full years of signing the agreement.

It further needs to evaluate its adherence to the agreement at the end of the fifth year by commissioning an independent assessment.

MAC community of interest advisory panel member Alan Young said: "The adoption of the TSM framework in Finland presents a great opportunity to share the many lessons learned from over a decade of building standards in Canada, and no doubt we will also be able to learn from their implementation experiences."

Mining companies implementing the TSM are required to evaluate their facilities’ performance against 23 indicators across six important areas annually.

The areas include tailings management, indigenous and community outreach, safety and health, biodiversity conservation management, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management, as well as crisis management planning.