Clean Cobalt Initiatives

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG:​ “Sustainability lies at the heart of ERG’s business, and we are committed to ensuring a low-carbon economy and a responsible global supply chain for lithium—ion batteries, a key enabler of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in a responsible manner.”

Our Commitments

CleanCobalt
An industry leading innovative initiative to ensure sustainable cobalt production, the Framework is reported on annually and independently reviewed…
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Clean Cobalt Framework

CleanCobalt An industry leading initiative to ensure sustainable cobalt production, the Framework was launched at Metalkol RTR and performance reported on and independently assured annually. The Framework forms part of our efforts to ensure sustainable cobalt production and comprises seven goals:

  • Compliance with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas
  • Our cobalt is sourced without child labour
  • Clean Cobalt is traceable
  • Clean cobalt is not sourced from artisanal and small-scale mining
  • Restoring the environment
  • Collaborating to promote sustainable development
  • Leading our industry towards more sustainable cobalt value chains

Our goal is to ensure that cobalt is produced responsibly and to address risks associated with human rights infringements and unethical business practices, in particular child labour. We also seek to harness opportunities to drive sustainability along the cobalt value chain, including in partnership with others. This framework aims to demonstrate and communicate this, thereby supporting the efforts of our customers to source responsibly. Impact and transparency are priorities, and it is for this reason that our performance will be reported annually and third-party validation will be sought. Through the Framework, Metalkol RTR, which is well positioned to become one of the world’s leading cobalt producers, aims to comply with and go beyond the globally recognised supply chain guidance of the OECD (OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas).

Clean Cobalt Framework

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group:

“Committed to responsible cobalt production, transparency and impact, ERG has released the first performance report for its Metalkol RTR operation in the DRC tracking its progress with the implementation of the Clean Cobalt Framework, an ERG initiative that was launched in 2018. Assured by PwC, the performance report represents a significant, positive milestone for Metalkol RTR as it continues to develop and perform according to the highest international standards.”

“It is critical to us and our supply chain that we can assure the responsible production of cobalt for battery technologies and at the same time work with partners to create sustainable impacts locally. This is reflected through our clean cobalt goals and partnerships that are especially important to us, from customers and end users to organisations including the Good Shepherd Sisters and Pact. Through a range of initiatives, we support the transition of children out of mining and champion sustainability and responsibility in the cobalt value chain.”

Metalkol RTR Clean Cobalt Performance Report
Supporting trust and transparency along the cobalt value chain: Piloting a blockchain solution

Blockchain is an emerging new solution to trace the provenance of key metals such as cobalt and further deliver much-needed assurances across the value chain. Through blockchain, the process of sourcing and aggregating data becomes more secure and efficient. Information is entered into a decentralised, distributed ledger and can be accessed by relevant participants including the end customer. That helps deliver assurances and build trust across the value chain. To that end, ERG is piloting a blockchain-based solution built on the IBM Blockchain Platform at the Metalkol RTR operation This innovative solution has potential implications for the wider metals industry, but it is particularly important in the context of complex geographies such as the DRC. Through this blockchain-based solution, ERG hopes to strengthen trust and transparency in the global value chain.


 
GlobalBatteryAlliance
ERG is a participant of the Cobalt working group as part of the Global Battery Alliance, a World Economic Forum’s initiative where ERG is a founding member...
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Global Battery Alliance

GlobalBatteryAlliance An international, cross-sector, public-private coalition developed on the World Economic Forum’s platform, of which ERG is a founding member and Mr Benedikt Sobotka a co-chair, is aiming to ensure that there is a responsible global supply chain for lithium-ion batteries where cobalt is an essential ingredient.

Launched at the inaugural World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit in September 2017, the Alliance is an international, cross-sector, public-private coalition, consisting of over 40 international organisations and businesses. This Alliance aims to ensure that there is a responsible global supply chain for lithium-ion batteries that help power the Fourth Industrial Revolution and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Alongside leading businesses including Volkswagen, BASF and Enel, ERG regularly participates in events, through which it helps drive global dialogue and action.

 

Over the past two years, ERG has deepened its involvement with the Alliance, working to consistently demonstrate its commitment through a host of initiatives. ERG is also a member of the Alliance’s Executive Board, Cobalt Working Group and Battery Passport working group..

 

Cobalt plays an instrumental role in helping power the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the transition to a low-carbon economy but sourcing it may come with its own set of challenges. Through its industry leading position and in the context of the Alliance, ERG is committed to helping tackle these challenges and ensure that the increasing demand for cobalt is met in a responsible manner.

Link to Global Battery Alliance
 
 
CobaltInstitute
ERG’s Metalkol RTR and Chambishi are members of the Cobalt Institute and ERG has also adopted the Cobalt Industry Responsible Assessment Framework (CIRAF)…
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Cobalt Institute

CobaltInstitute ERG’s Metalkol RTR project is a member of the Cobalt Institute - a non-profit trade association composed of cobalt producers, users, recyclers and traders. A member of the Associations Group of the International Council for Mining and Metals (ICMM), the Institute promotes the sustainable and responsible production and use of cobalt in all its forms. In this context, ERG has adopted the Cobalt Industry Responsible Assessment Framework (CIRAF), a management instrument that further enables participants to align with global good practice on responsible production as well as annual public reporting standards and requirements.

Link to Cobalt Institute
 
 

Strengthening our communities: ERG’s partnerships to tackle child labour in the mining sector

GoodShepherdInternationalFoundation
Focused on helping tackle child labour as well as supporting women’s empowerment, civic capacity building, alternative livelihoods and social businesses…
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Good Shepherd International Foundation

GoodShepherdInternationalFoundation Through this partnership, ERG is focused on helping tackle child labour as well as supporting women’s empowerment, civic capacity building, alternative livelihoods and social businesses. At the heart of ERG’s multi-year partnership with the Good Shepherd International Foundation (GSIF) and Good Shepherd Sisters is the goal to help break the cycle of violence and abuse against children, girls in the particular, in artisanal mining communities by improving their living conditions. The agreement is particularly focused on supporting children who work in the mines and are involved in the worst forms of child labour.

This partnership provides an opportunity to strengthen and improve the Good Shepherd Sisters’ existing Alternative Livelihood programme through ERG’s Metalkol RTR operation. It helps increase food production on farming cooperatives and thus boost food availability and revenues for those who participate in the programme along with their extended families. Supporting alternative livelihoods is in line with the OECD’s and UNICEF’s recommendation to tackle child labour in the mines through addressing its root causes: extreme poverty and the lack of alternative livelihoods.

Our support of education is another focus in this agreement. It is set to help approximately 1,000 vulnerable children to access basic education and other services including counselling and healthcare as well as access to referral systems for physical abuse. In partnership with the Good Shepherd International Foundation, ERG’s Metalkol RTR is building a new child protection centre in Kolwezi, which is expected to be completed this year.

Link to GSIF website
 
Pact
Supporting Pact’s ‘Children out of Mining – Northern Kolwezi’ programme in the DRC, aiming to raise awareness and strengthen child protection norms…
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Pact

Pact The Group supports Pact’s ‘Children out of Mining – Northern Kolwezi’ programme in the DRC. The initiative aims to raise awareness and strengthen child protection norms via a range of tailored capacity-building interventions. The focus rests on tackling the risks children may face in ASM, a sector often associated with a failure to meet social and environmental norms and regulations. The programme also offers direct support to miners between the ages of 15 and 17 through a six-month vocational training programme accompanied by short-term remuneration designed to help them transition out of their current occupation. This forms part of ERG’s ongoing commitment to the sustainable and responsible production of cobalt.

ERG and Pact are both founding members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance.

Link to Pact website
 
Press releases

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