The International Cyanide Management Institute Announces Extension of Audit Deadlines for Initial Mining Company Code Signatories

The Board of Directors of the International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI) has extended the audit deadline for operations that were designated for certification by the initial mining company signatory companies that adopted the International Cyanide Management Code for Gold Mining (Code) in 2005. This action has been taken in recognition that these initial signatories may have been hampered in their efforts to obtain timely certification audits because of a number of factors beyond their control.

The Code requires that operations of signatory companies be audited within three years of being designated for certification. Therefore, the designated operations of the initial mining company signatories that adopted the Code on November 3, 2005 would have been required to have certification audits conducted by third party independent auditors by November 3, 2008 in order for the companies to retain their signatory status.

The initial group of mining companies that became Code signatories in 2005 did so well before all the necessary documentation was in place to allow the third party independent audit process to proceed. ICMI’s Auditor Guidance for Use of the Gold Mining Operations Verification Protocol was not issued until May 1, 2006, and its Auditor Guidance for Use of the Cyanide Transportation Verification Protocol was not issued until September 28, 2006; both are critical documents necessary to the Code audit process.

Moreover, the Code requires a gold mine seeking certification to demonstrate that the cyanide it uses is manufactured and transported by operations that manage cyanide responsibly; this means that the mine cannot undergo its certification audit until its cyanide producer and transporter have themselves been audited. While this approach is necessary to ensure the use of best practices throughout the entire cyanide supply chain, it resulted in mines having to wait many months for their cyanide producers and transporters to be audited before they could schedule their own audits. Some mines in developing countries were particularly affected because some cyanide transporters in these locations required significant improvement to achieve Code compliance before mine audits could commence, further impeding their ability to meet the November 3, 2008 deadline.

Additionally, it took many months for the auditing community to recognize the business opportunities of Code auditing, causing the initial pool of available qualified auditors approved by ICMI to be limited. In some instances, the limited pool of auditors resulted in audit backlogs, further delaying completion of Code audits for some operations.

Given these impediments to completing Code audits by the established deadline, the Board has authorized a six-month extension of the three-year audit deadline for AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Barrick Gold Corporation, Gold Fields Ltd, Kinross Gold Corporation, Newmont Mining Corporation, Pan Australian Resources Ltd, and Rio Tinto, the gold mining companies that were among the initial Code signatories. The extension applies solely to auditing of the gold mines that were designated for certification in these companies’ initial signatory application forms. This action, therefore, potentially covers the 31 operations listed below that have not yet submitted audit reports. ICMI, however, believes that a significant number of these operations will complete their certification audits by the original November 3, 2008 deadline.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd Barrick Gold Corp Gold Fields Ltd Kinross Gold Corp Newmont Mining Corp Pan Australian Resources Ltd Rio Tinto
Geita Plutonic Driefontein Plants Kettle River Midas Phu Bia Barney’s Canyon
Navachab Darlot Kloof La Coipa Carlin Rawhide
Morila Lawlers Beatrix Musselwhite Waihi
Sadiola Williams St Ives Porcupine Tanami
Obusasi David Bell Agnew Refugio Jundee
Cerro Vanguardia


Monday, August 11, 2008