The initial signatories to the International Cyanide Management Code for the Manufacture, Transport and Use of Cyanide in the Production of Gold (Code) were announced today by the International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI). The Code is a voluntary industry program for companies involved in the production of gold using cyanide. The 14 initial signatories include 9 gold mining companies and 5 cyanide manufacturing and transport companies, covering more than 80 facilities worldwide, and representing approximately 36 percent of the gold presently mined in the world.
The Code’s Principles and Standards of Practice commit signatories to manage cyanide in a responsible manner. The Code covers nine key areas: cyanide production, transportation of cyanide to the mine site, handling and storage of reagent cyanide, on-site use and management of cyanide at mining operations, decommission of facilities, worker safety, emergency response, training, and communications with the public.
The Code’s Implementation Guidance describes procedures necessary for the safe management of cyanide and identifies the practices to be followed to implement each of the Code’s Principles and Standards.
By becoming a signatory, a company commits to following the Code’s Principles and implementing its Standards of Practice, and to have verification audits of their individual operations conducted by independent third-party auditors within three years of their initial application, and every three years thereafter. The purpose of the verification audit is to evaluate an operation to determine if its management of cyanide achieves the Code’s Principles and Standards of Practice, or in the case of cyanide producers and transporters, the Principles and Practices identified in their respective verification protocols. Operations will be certified if found in compliance with the Code, and will be de-certified if ICMI determines that they no longer comply with the Code.
The initial signatory companies are:
AngloGold Ashanti Limited
Australian Gold Reagents Pty Ltd
Barrick Gold Corporation
E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company
Gold Fields Limited
Kingsgate Consolidated Limited
Kinross Gold Corporation
Newmont Mining Corporation
Orica Australia Pty Ltd
Pan Australian Resources Limited
Placer Dome Inc.
A detailed list of the operations covered by these signatory companies’ applications, along with the full text of the Code and its implementing and administrative documents, are available at www.cyanidecode.org.
The Code was developed under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME) by a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee. The Code focuses exclusively on the safe management of cyanide and cyanidation mill tailings and leach solutions. The Code is intended to complement an operation’s existing obligation to comply with the applicable law and regulations of the political jurisdictions in which the operation is located. Verification of compliance with the Code is based on a site’s demonstration that it meets the Code’s Principles and Standards of Practice, regardless of whether they are more stringent than the applicable political jurisdiction’s rules, regulations and laws.
The Code provides practical guidance to gold mining operations on the safe use and management of cyanide. It can be implemented internationally, in both developed and developing countries, by both large and small gold mining companies.
The Code is intended to assure local communities that operations certified as being in compliance have taken steps necessary to reduce the potential for cyanide-related incidents at gold mining sites, said Paul Bateman, ICMI’s Chairman. The Code’s environmental safeguards are credible and verifiable. The goal now for the industry is to achieve widespread adoption and implementation of the Code, Bateman said.
ICMI has been established to administer the Code, promote its adoption, evaluate its implementation, and manage the certification process. ICMI completed the documentation and administrative procedures necessary for companies to become signatories in July 2005, and began accepting applications at that time.
Thursday, November 3, 2005