Better Mining Monitoring Program in the Democratic Republic of Congo Broadened to Supplementary Cobalt and Copper Mine Sites in Lualaba District RCS Global Group and the Responsible Minerals Initiative Finds
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– The RCS Global Group and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) have confirmed the extension of the Better Mining artisanal and small-scale mine (ASM) monitoring program to supplementary cobalt and copper mine sites in the Lualaba region in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thus, the addition will commence with the timely improvement of a mine site near Likasi heeded by a fifth site now under experiment. Better Mining and the RMI design to measure the program to twelve sites across the DRC by 2023.
In this respect, the approval toots the next level in the growth of the Better Mining program, which is seen as a critical pillar in the formalization of ASM mining and eventual endorsement of ASM material on international metals markets. In excursus, a commitment has also been entered, to develop Better Mining’s partnership with Huayou Cobalt – China’s heftiest cobalt refiner, to proceed regulating the Kasulo and Kamilombe mine sites for an additional two years. The expansion will comprise partnerships for the enactment of local improvement criteria.
In furtherance of the above, Better Mining has declared openly that, it will be blending its efforts with the Fair Cobalt Alliance, a supply chain action platform founded by Huayou Cobalt, Fairphone, Signify and the Impact Facility, which is beginning its technical work to improve working conditions at artisanal mining sites informed by Better Mining data. Carried out at cobalt, copper and 3TG ASM sites in the DRC, the extension of the partnership with Huayou Cobalt and the expansion to further sites is the latest positive crossroads for the Better Mining program, which is industriously funded by key market actors including Volvo Cars and other downstream brands.
Specifically, Better Mining assesses and oftentimes monitors risks and consequences on ASM mine sites in alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance and other credible sourcing criteria. The data is provided through representatives, always posted at mines sites, readied with mobile digital monitoring tools. Same in assisting the development of the Better Mining Program, the RMI is operating with stakeholders to interpret market acknowledgment for responsibly generated ASM cobalt, and guarantee those prospects are incorporated into norms acceptable to cobalt producers and refiners as well as rooted in recommendation and cleanses satisfactory to downstream companies. Cobalt supply chain actors can profit from the existence of independent monitoring and the ensuing data at ASM sites to boost with their accountable procurement decisions.
Bryce Lee, Director of CSR at Huayou Cobalt: “Huayou Cobalt remains committed to supporting the development of a formalized ASM cobalt sector in the DRC where miners who are dependent on this work for their livelihoods can work safely and securely. Our collaboration with Better Mining is one of the key pillars in this mission, we look forward to continuing our engagement with the program.”
Leah Butler, Vice President, Responsible Business Alliance: “The RMI is committed to supporting responsible ASM cobalt production so that it is recognized by the market and contributes positively to local communities. The independent site monitoring and reporting services provided by Better Mining is a crucial component of this process that we are pleased to scale with the support of RMI members and other stakeholders.
Huayou Cobalt were one of our foundational partners when Better Mining began in 2018. Two years on, we are delighted that the company will continue to support our work in improving the ASM cobalt sector.
“Supporting formalization of ASM in the DRC and allowing for a way for responsibly produced ASM cobalt to enter international supply chains will ensure that the livelihoods of the people dependent on ASM is maintained while respecting human rights and implementing better practice. We are grateful for the support of key supply chain actors to continue on this journey.” Managing Director Ferdinand Maubrey – RCS Global Group noted.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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