Placer Dome, a Canadian gold mining company that has been on the defensive ever since a devastating waste spill at one of its mines in the Philippines in 1996, is trying to clean up its image with a “sustainability initiative.” In a meeting in Sydney last month, the company negotiated a draft agreement with environmental organizations that sets out benchmarks for the company’s environmental performance and calls for an independent auditor to assess compliance. The agreement would likely mean that the company would not mine in protected regions or in areas where the locals oppose the development and that it would not dump mine waste in rivers. The enviros, however, are not yet sold on the company’s green commitment.