COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL MINING STANDARDIZATION - CONIM - IBRAM

COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL MINING STANDARDIZATION - CONIM

IBRAM, through means of the Committee for International Mining Standardization, is implementing a series of initiatives aimed at providing support in the use of technical mining standards (ISO and ABNT – the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards). These standards are of the utmost importance for suppliers and consumers of mining products since they are used to quantify the characteristics involved in the quantity of these goods, which are subsequently used to calculate revenue, premiums, and fines for each shipment. CONIM is part of IBRAM’s Directorate for Sustainability and Regulatory Issues.

IBRAM-CONIM was created within IBRAM’s structure in 1994 due to a request made by Brazilian companies involved in the extraction of iron ore and is exclusively aimed at providing support in the capacity of a secretariat, strengthening and encouraging the participation of these companies in the development of ISO and ABNT standards. In 2007, CONIM expanded the range of support it provides and additionally began to coordinate the participation of Brazilian companies producing ore, copper and nickel concentrates, and nickel alloys. CONIM has its own specifically allocated budget, with companies using its work (producers and exporters of iron, copper, and nickel) responsible for funding the Program. Funding for CONIM is separate from contributions made by IBRAM’s partners due to the fact that it is a special program existing within the Institute’s structure and is specifically focused on providing services to these companies. A system of quotas is used to determine the financial contribution made by each company, taking the volume of minerals that it commercializes into consideration.

The International Mining Standardization Program currently includes the iron ore sectors (ISO/TC 102), copper and nickel ore and concentrates (ISO/TC 183), as well as nickel and nickel alloys (ISO/TC 155) and is able to initiate other activities based on demands from companies.

More specifically, IBRAM-CONIM is responsible for:
● Serving as the headquarters for CB-41, which is the ABNT committee responsible for developing and reviewing Brazilian technical standards related to iron ore, as well as coordinating and formalizing the participation of Brazilian companies during activities carried out by the ISO Committee for iron ore, TC 102 – Iron ores. CB-41 was created to mirror the work of TC 102. Therefore, CB-41 has a corresponding Committee for each TC 102 Committee (Sampling, Chemical Analysis, and Physical and Metallurgical Testing) aimed at receiving and discussing materials and reaching a consensus with regards to Brazil’s position in voting carried out with regards to ISO projects. CB-41 currently focuses on Standardization within the field of iron ore, which includes respective terminology, sampling methods, preparation of samples, determining humidity, determining particle size distribution, chemical analyses, and physical testing.

● Serving as the headquarters for CEE-081 (the Special Study Committee on Ore, Concentrates, and Primary Copper and Nickel Products). This Committee focuses on Standardization within the area of ore, concentrates, and primary copper and nickel products, which includes specifications, terminology, weighing, sample and preparation of samples, chemical analysis, physical testing of copper ore and concentrates, smelter waste, nickel ore, nickel, and nickel alloys. This ABNT committee is responsible for developing and reviewing Brazilian technical standards related to nickel ore, concentrates, and primary products, and coordinating and formalizing the participation of Brazilian companies during activities carried out by ISO Committees for copper and nickel (ISO/TC 155 and ISO/TC 183).

● Preparing (both in terms of policy and technical areas) Brazilian delegations for meetings of ISO’s technical committees, as well as participating in these meetings together with specialists from sponsoring companies.

● Maintaining the Secretariat of the TC 102 Subcommittee for Brazil/ABNT, which is responsible for the standardization of physical and metallurgical testing of iron ore (ISO/TC 102/SC3).

● Monitoring the development of projects implemented within the scope of activities carried out by ISO/TC 102 (iron ore), ISO/TC 183 (ore and concentrates from copper, nickel, zinc, and lead) and ISO/TC 155 (nickel and nickel alloys), providing alerts for periods in which commentary and voting are carried out by Brazilian delegates. CONIM also provides support to the corresponding leadership for Brazilian Working Groups under ISO and ABNT in the capacity of a secretariat.

● Providing a forum for meetings of the Committees and Working Groups involved in Sampling (CE 01), Chemical Analysis (CE 02), and Physical and Metallurgical Testing (CE 03), as well as the Special Study Committee on copper and nickel ore, concentrates, and primary products (CEE-081) in accordance with ABNT and ISO programs.
● Maintaining the administrative structure facilitating the scheduling and organization of these meetings, the corresponding office infrastructure, and the secretariat services provided to members of these discussion groups, which also carry out other professional activities in their respective companies, thereby providing the necessary support in ensuring that work is carried out in a satisfactory manner.

● Coordinating and preparing training courses related to the content and application of standards (open and “in company” training).

It is important to emphasize that this participation offers mining companies significant advantages, including:
● impeding the proposal and development of standards constituting a certain degree of partiality;
● the optimization of sample installations and laboratories (particularly through means of our participation in international interlaboratory programs);

● the provision of high-level training to professionals, consisting of a strengthening of respective knowledge with regards to both preparation and application of standards and their limitations;

● systematic contact with technical personnel from clients and competitors;

● valuable international experience for professionals involved.

The following section contains a brief description of each Study Committee:

CE-01: Committee on Iron Ore Sampling
● Who can participate:
– representatives from CONIM’s sponsoring companies that possess relevant knowledge;
– other companies that have been previously referred by the miners participating on the Committee, including service providers.
● Meeting frequency: defined in accordance with ISO’s calendar, which involves work carried out internationally and biennial meetings and generally consists of 4 to 5 meetings per year.
● Associated company responsible for coordination: CSN
Contact information: julio.nery@ibram.org.br / rejane.carvalho@ibram.org.br

CE-02: Committee on Chemical Analysis of Iron Ore
● Who can participate:
– representatives from CONIM’s sponsoring companies that possess relevant knowledge;
– other companies that have been previously referred by the miners participating on the Committee, including service providers.
● Meeting frequency: defined in accordance with ISO’s calendar, which involves work carried out internationally and biennial meetings and generally consists of 4 to 5 meetings per year.
● Associated company responsible for coordination: Vale
Contact information: julio.nery@ibram.org.br / rejane.carvalho@ibram.org.br

CE-03: Committee on Physical and Metallurgical Testing on Iron Ore
● Who can participate:
– representatives from CONIM’s sponsoring companies that possess relevant knowledge;
– other companies that have been previously referred by the miners participating on the Committee, including service providers.
● Meeting frequency: defined in accordance with ISO’s calendar, which involves work carried out internationally and biennial meetings and generally consists of 4 to 5 meetings per year.
● Associated company responsible for coordination: Vale
Contact information: julio.nery@ibram.org.br / rejane.carvalho@ibram.org.br

CEE-081: Special Study Committee on Sampling and Chemical Analysis of Copper and Nickel Ore, Concentrates, and Primary Products
● Who can participate:
– representatives from CONIM’s sponsoring companies that possess relevant knowledge;
– other companies that have been previously referred by the miners participating on the Committee, including service providers.
● Meeting frequency: defined in accordance with the calendar provided by the two ISO Committees that form this CEE, which involves work carried out internationally and biennial meetings and generally consists of 8 to 10 meetings per year.
● IBRAM Coordinating Body: IBRAM’s Directorate for Sustainability and Mining Issues
In addition to iron, copper, and nickel, IBRAM-CONIM is also the headquarters for ABNT/CEE-220 – The Special Study Committee on the Preparation of Projects for Disposal of Mining Tailings and Waste Rock. This Committee is responsible for Standardization related to the preparation of projects for the disposal of tailings and waste rock in mining.
Contact information: julio.nery@ibram.org.br / rejane.carvalho@ibram.org.br

Benefícios da participação nos trabalhos de normalização:

Comerciais 

Possibilita a defesa de interesses das empresas mineradoras no estágio de elaboração das normas;

Propicia a ocupação de posições-chave na estrutura da ISO ou ABNT.

Planejamento estratégico 

Permite à empresa avaliar cenários e tendências tecnológicas e mercadológicas do setor, bem como a reação dos fornecedores concorrentes.

Técnicos 

Possibilita a participação da empresa em testes interlaboratoriais internacionais, o que é um excelente instrumento para mensurar e aprimorar a eficiência dos laboratórios e sistemas de amostragem;

Promove o desenvolvimento técnico e aperfeiçoa a comunicação verbal e escrita, dos seus participantes, inclusive na língua inglesa;

Proporciona estreito contato com concorrentes e clientes;

Traz à tona tecnologias de ponta dos setores envolvidos.