Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Awards


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.


There is only one recipient of this award each year. This award may be given to an individual or an organization.



Rio Tinto, Diavik Mine—Community Engagement

Turning Copper into ‘Gold’  

Several years ago, employees at the Diavik Diamond Mine recognized an opportunity to repurpose copper wire from predominantly completed underground mining levels. A core group of passionate employees took the initiative to propose to Diavik to salvage copper wire where possible, and collect it in containers for transport off-site to donate to community groups. Diavik endorsed this idea and included this activity as part of scheduled work, so those who volunteered were paid for their time. This project worked to a small extent but grew substantially when, in 2019, Diane Haché, a retired employee, and her partner Michel Tremblay, a current employee, led the volunteer efforts to maximize the mine’s recycling efforts, through stripping and shipping of the salvaged copper for sale, with all proceeds going towards Diavik’s Community Contribution Program. Since the project’s inception, the results have been significant, raising over $500,000 for local charities.  


New Gold Inc, New Afton Mine—Environmental Excellence

In March 2014 New Gold Inc’s. New Afton Mine became the first mine in North America to be certified to the ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) Standard.  Since then, New Afton has realized annualized energy savings equivalent to 15% of the total 2021 energy consumption.  ISO 50001 has also supported compliance with the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Energy and GHG (Greenhouse Gases) Management protocol. 

ISO 50001 helps build energy and GHG management into the business systems of the company, so it becomes what everyone does on a day-to-day basis.  It helps engage employees in energy and GHG management and it’s the employees who drive energy and GHG performance improvement at New Afton through their creative and innovative suggestions. 

New Afton has received numerous awards in recognition of their energy management systems and initiatives, including the prestigious Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Energy Management Award of Excellence.