While the TSM initiative had long included indicators focused on the environment through its tailings, energy and greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity conservation management protocols, the new protocol would further enhance TSM to ensure that it continued to drive environmental performance across a range of critical areas, the association said.
"TSM's new water stewardship protocol will help our sector focus its leadership in water conservation not just as it relates to how mines manage their water use but on how we can contribute to broader watershed-scale stewardship," said CEO Pierre Gratton.
"We understand that given the finite nature of water as a resource, our industry has an important role to play in its stewardship and this protocol gives our members the tools to do just that."
The new protocol was deeply influenced by the International Council on Minerals and Metals' Water Stewardship Framework and its Practical Guide to Catchment-Based Water Management, which provided industry best practices on water management and placed a strong focus on working with other water users on finding solutions to shared challenges.
The water stewardship protocol would ensure commitments and accountabilities were in place to support water conservation and played an important role in the TSM's continual progression, Gratton said.