Albemarle Becomes First Lithium Producer to Complete Independent Audit and Publish IRMA Report
June 20, 2023
Company earns IRMA 50 Rating for Salar de Atacama Lithium Site in Chile
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 20, 2023 - Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), a global leader in providing essential elements for mobility, energy, connectivity and health, today announced that it achieved an IRMA 50 level of performance in an independent third-party assessment of its lithium brine extraction and concentration site in the Salar de Atacama, using the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) comprehensive mining standard.
This marks a new milestone for Albemarle, as it is the first lithium producer and only the third mine site globally to complete an independent audit and have its audit report published by IRMA, continuing the company’s commitment to transparent and responsible management of its resources. The assessment process covers 26 areas, including water management, human rights, greenhouse gas emissions, fair labor, terms of work, among others. Forty percent of these standards require active engagement with nearby communities to ensure dialogue, transparency, and collaboration on key issues such as emergency response, grievance mechanisms, and mine closure planning. A third-party auditor corroborated that the company met 70% of over 400 rigorous IRMA requirements at the Salar de Atacama site.
“We are proud to be the first lithium producer to complete an IRMA audit and publish our report. This third-party audit shares with our communities, stakeholders, customers, employees and investors that we are committed to doing the right things, the right way,” said Ellen Lenny-Pessagno, Global VP of External Affairs and Sustainability for Albemarle Energy Storage. “We have made many positive changes in how we operate, engage with the community and transparently share information, and we are committed to continuous improvement against this standard. This new era of lithium requires responsible mining to achieve a just transition to electrification and digitalization globally.”
"We congratulate the entire Albemarle team who undertook this IRMA audit," said Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA. "It demonstrates Albemarle’s commitment to transparency and community engagement, and their intention to continue to improve social and environmental performance at their Salar de Atacama operation.”
The IRMA scoring system recognizes four levels of performance: IRMA Transparency, in which a mine is third-party-assessed and publicly shares its scores; IRMA 50 or 75, signifying that a mine shares its scores and furthermore meets a core set of critical requirements together with at least 50 percent or 75 percent achievement of the possible score in each of the four principles of the Standard for Responsible Mining (business integrity, planning for positive legacies, social and environmental responsibility); and IRMA 100, which means the mine meets all of the Standard’s requirements.
Albemarle shareholders, customers, employees, and the public can visit the Mines Under Assessment page of IRMA’s website for updated information on the site’s third-party audit. On-site auditors interviewed mine management, functional leaders, mine workers, and external community stakeholders. The report of the assessment conducted by ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS), is publicly available on the IRMA website.
The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) oversees the only independent, comprehensive and transparent process for assessing individual mines’ performance against an equally governed, best-practice standard — and for measuring their subsequent progress in reducing social and environmental impacts. The rigorous IRMA process invites all those currently or potentially affected by a mine to share their experiences and perspectives with the third-party auditing team. For more information, please visit www.responsiblemining.net.
Albemarle’s Sustainable Commitments
Albemarle’s IRMA 50 rating at the Salar de Atacama site is just one of the company’s many sustainable commitments and efforts in Chile and at its sites around the globe, including:
- Albemarle is committed to the development of a new lithium era by collaborating with others to explore bringing desalinated seawater to the Salar de Atacama basin and researching new lithium production technologies.
- Albemarle’s freshwater rights at the Salar de Atacama site make up 0.5% of all freshwater rights in the basin. Of those rights, the company uses only nine L/s for its camp, to produce potassium chloride, and to rinse equipment.
- The company has committed to reducing the intensity of freshwater use by 25% by 2030 in areas of high-water risk including the Antofagasta region.
- Albemarle shares 3.5% of revenues from its Chilean operations with local indigenous communities through an agreement with the Council of Atacameño Peoples, signed in 2016.
- Albemarle monitors brine and freshwater levels jointly with the indigenous community to verify whether brine pumping has adverse effects on the water systems. The results of the hydrogeological data are shared with regulatory authorities and local communities and confirm that brine pumping does not affect the upstream groundwater levels.
- Albemarle remains committed to carrying out an IRMA third-party audit at additional mine sites in Western Australia and the United States.
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) leads the world in transforming essential resources into critical ingredients for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health. We partner to pioneer new ways to move, power, connect and protect with people and planet in mind. A reliable and high-quality global supply of lithium and bromine allow us to deliver advanced solutions for our customers. Learn more about how the people of Albemarle are enabling a more resilient world at albemarle.com and on Twitter @AlbemarleCorp.
Albemarle regularly posts information to its website, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, non-GAAP reconciliations, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings and other information regarding the company, its businesses and the markets it serves.
Developed through a decade of public consultations, with input from more than 100 companies and organizations, the IRMA Standard and assessment process recognize the concerns of Indigenous rights holders, communities and mine workers, as well as environmental and human rights advocates and other representatives of civil society — giving them an equal voice alongside mining companies, purchasers of mined materials and investors. Independent audits conducted against the IRMA standard, by reviewing mines’ performance with transparent notice and opportunities for public engagement, help foster dialogue on further improvements companies can make to support those affected by their operations. For more information: www.responsiblemining.net.
Some of the information presented in this press release, including, without limitation, information regarding the publishing of the IRMA audit report, sustainability goals and commitments, targets and timelines for achievement, environmental impact reduction goals, sustainability priorities, and all other information relating to matters that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from the views expressed. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the outlook expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include, without limitation: changes in economic and business conditions; adverse changes in liquidity or financial or operating performance; changes in the demand for our products or the end-user markets in which our products are sold and the other factors detailed from time to time in the reports we file with the SEC, including those described under "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to provide any revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.
Investor Relations Contact: Brook Wootton, +1 (980)-766-1922, [email protected]
Media Contact: Hailey Quinn, +1 (980)-299-5640, [email protected]
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