Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Awards

Celebrating excellence and leadership in sustainable development

Origins and Conditions


Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Awards acknowledges companies, facilities and individuals that have implemented projects and initiatives to expand and promote sustainable development within the mining sector.

The awards will be presented in the following categories. 

  1. TSM Community Engagement Excellence Award
  2. TSM Environmental Excellence Award

TSM Community Engagement Award

The award shall be given to a mine or metallurgical site currently participating in and publicly reporting TSM performance in recognition of an innovative achievement in community engagement that took place within the last three years and whose contribution meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Innovative approaches to engage with communities of interest and ensure that communities of interest have a legitimate voice in the company’s decision-making process;
  2. Collaboration with communities of interest to address common community goals;
  3. Initiatives to address a specific need identified by the local community;
  4. Creative and/or innovative initiatives in which a large impact is made with a strategic investment;
  5. Unique approaches to health and safety initiatives for employees, contractors and communities;
  6. Initiatives intended to provide lasting benefits to local communities through self-sustaining programs that enhance the economic, social, educational and health aspects of a community;
  7. Collaboration with governments and communities to support and encourage community development programs.

TSM Environmental Excellence Award

The award shall be given to a mine or metallurgical site currently participating in and publicly reporting TSM performance in recognition of an innovative achievement in environmental leadership that took place within the last three years and whose contribution meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Collaboration with communities of interest and local conservation groups to protect vulnerable ecosystems and enhance biodiversity;
  2. Investments in renewable technology;
  3. Initiatives that enhance, through research, information sharing and/or partnerships, the industry’s understanding of and contribution to environmental protection, science and traditional knowledge;
  4. Procurement and supply chain management practices that incorporate environmental criteria;
  5. Innovative initiatives that contribute to environmental awareness, preservation and reclamation through education;
  6. Projects that exemplify the TSM Guiding Principles with associated regard for the environment;
  7. Innovative projects that have resulted in substantial improvements to the environment;
  8. Initiatives that establish a best practice that can be or has already been adopted across the industry to improve environmental performance.

Requirements and Conditions

  1. A mine or metallurgical site’s most recent TSM performance results will be a heavily-weighted factor in the selection process. Recipients of this award will have completed at least one cycle of TSM external verification.
  2. Normally, not more than one award may be made in any given year. In the event of extraordinary nominations, consideration may be given for more than one award.
  3. All nominations must be accompanied by:
    – A complete description of the meritorious achievement.
    – A justification of its leadership value and its potential impact on environmental and/or social practices in the mining sector.
    – At least one letter of support or endorsement from a relevant community of interest.
    – TSM performance scores provided by MAC or an appropriate provincial mining association.
  4. The CIM Chief Executive Officer shall refer each nomination to the TSM Awards Selection Committee.
  5. The Committee's selection shall be reported to CIM Council no later than the last Council meeting held prior to the annual CIM Convention at which the presentation is expected to be made.
  6. The members of the TSM Awards Selection Committee shall not be party to the nomination of any candidate.
  7. The award shall be presented by a MAC representative at the annual CIM Convention. In the event that the sponsor is not available the award shall be presented by the current CIM President.
  8. All nominations properly presented, and not selected as award recipients for that particular year, shall be carried forward for the next two years unless formally withdrawn. If a nomination is carried forward, the most recent year of TSM performance data will be taken into consideration. Nominees will be provided an opportunity to update their submission for reconsideration the following year.



Agnico Eagle Pinos Altos, Community Engagement

Agnico Eagle’s Drinking Water Distribution Network Initiative Enhances Local Community’s Health and Wellness

Access to clean, fresh drinking water is one of the most essential components of human life. Without it, the ability for a community and its citizens to thrive and live healthy and fulfilling lives is next to impossible. Agnico Eagle, a leading Canadian gold mining company, understands this necessity and realized that through innovative low-carbon technology and effective community engagement it could provide instant and continuous supply of clean drinking water to those living near its Pinos Altos mine in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Located only 45 kilometres away from Agnico Eagle’s Pinos Altos operations, the Community of Yepachic has long had difficulty in accessing drinking water from the springs. Recognizing this, in 2019 the Pinos Altos team, in collaboration with officials from the Municipality of Temosachic, founded the Drinking Water Distribution Network which provides drinking water to over 200 local households through a solar powered pumping system. The 60-cell solar system and electrical grid to power the water pumping equipment provides a sustainable source of clean water that not only services local households, but also essential community services like medical clinics and schools.

This project would not have been realized without the support and input from local community members, who were intimately involved in its design and implementation.

Given the success of the Drinking Water Distribution Network, Agnico Eagle has determined that it can be replicated elsewhere and is in the process of expanding the project to serve in other communities, with additional projects currently under consideration.

Through responsible water stewardship, the use of low carbon energy sources and community engagement, Agnico Eagle is leading the way in ensuring life sustaining infrastructure is available for those in need.


IAMGOLD Essakane Mine, Environmental Excellence

IAMGOLD Leading the Way with Innovative Recycling Program at its Essakane Mine

In 2010, IAMGOLD’s Essakane mine in Burkina Faso recognized the need to enhance its plastic waste management given that the region lacked a recycling facility, forcing the mine to bury large quantities of plastic on site. Given this pressing issue, and the company’s focus on sustainability initiatives, the idea to work with a local entrepreneur to support the development of a plastics recycling business to manage waste generated by the mine site was born.

By working with a new plastics recycling company, the mine was able to avoid burying plastic while also supporting the recycling business to shred different types of plastics and bag the resulting granules in reusable bags to be resold. The initiative is particularly innovative in that it not only enhances the management of plastic waste, creates permanent jobs for community members, and is entirely led by the local community, but also can be easily replicated in surrounding communities, resulting in a significant positive impact for the region that far extends beyond IAMGOLD’s operations. 

Given the project’s success at the Essakane site, it was important to the company that its reach could be extended to other neighbouring communities interested in environmental stewardship and community engagement. This innovative plastic shredding unit can be replicated in any location, remote or urban, where there is a problem related to the recycling of plastic sheeting and there is no doubt that the recycling company working with IAMGOLD will eventually encompass the collection of plastic waste in the region outside the immediate mine site.

The results speak for themselves. Since its inception, over 65 tons of plastics that had previously been stored on the mine site have been recycled, a massive achievement in reducing the mine’s environmental footprint that has inspired local community members to set up businesses to recycle other types of waste, all of which will undoubtedly have a far reaching and positive impact.