Network approves new standard for sustainable exploration

The Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining has prepared a new standard for sustainable exploration. The board of the network approved the new standard at its meeting on February 16.

The standard was drafted by Mr Toni Eerola from the Geological Survey of Finland. The draft text was then finalised by a working group with representatives from mining and exploration companies and their key stakeholders, including the Reindeer Herders’ Association, the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), and the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC), the biggest environmental NGO in Finland.

The standard is comprised of guiding principles and four protocols, which cover the entire lifecycle of exploration activities. The protocols include stakeholder involvement, biodiversity conservation, safety and health, and crisis management.

The exploration standard follows the same logic as in the standard for sustainable mining, where each protocol is divided into performance indicators and their corresponding assessment criterias. The Finnish mining standard has been developed based on the Canadian standard Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM).

The network is now planning to organise a two-day training course for companies that want to learn more about the use of the standard.

Once adopted, the exploration companies should report on an annual basis on the implementation of the standard. Every three years, an external audit will take place to make sure that the information provided by the companies is correct.

The standard for exploration has now been translated into English, and it can be downloaded from the following links:

Guiding principles

Stakeholder involvement

Biodiversity conservation

Safety and health

Crisis management

For further information, please contact Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, Secretary General, Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining, tel: +358 50 347 8778, E-mail: eyk@kaivosvastuu.fi