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ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 3, 2022 – The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), has confirmed its next steps in supporting the responsible sourcing of artisanal cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the RMI and the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) was signed in February 2022 to define the next phases of the work that was initially undertaken by the GBA’s Cobalt Action Partnership (GBA CAP). The new agreement recognizes the need for greater market clarity regarding artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) cobalt sourcing expectations and the roles of initiatives working in this space. The MOU outlines the RMI’s specific role in developing clear sourcing expectations for ASM cobalt that promotes improved conditions at mining sites and acceptance into global supply chains.
The RMI and GBA are committed to the vision of a responsible cobalt supply chain that includes ASM with operations that are safe and productive, aligned with international best practices, and result in benefits to the economic and social well-being of ASM miners and mining communities. The agreement between the RMI and GBA further highlights that the sovereignty of the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is paramount, and engagement with the DRC government and stakeholders is necessary for progress.
The GBA and RMI would like to recognize the contributions of their collective memberships and partners for their hard work and partnership over the last two years. In this time, the GBA CAP was able to convene key stakeholders and facilitate a joint consultation, globally and specifically in the DRC, on draft sourcing expectations for ASM cobalt (information on the consultation is available here). Stakeholder engagement will continue to be an important element of the RMI’s work on ASM cobalt, and details on how stakeholders can engage in next steps will soon be shared on the RMI website.
Ephi Banaynal dela Cruz, Senior Director Supply Chain Integrity, Technology and Corporate Responsibility at Microsoft, and the Chair of the RMI Steering Committee said, “We see this milestone as an opportunity to accelerate this critical industry challenge. We will work collaboratively to continue to have a positive impact on the ASM miners and their communities.”
“The RMI operates on the belief that by working together we can develop expectations for responsible sourcing that are aligned with international standards and stakeholder expectations, providing clear resources for companies committed to responsible sourcing and a channel for stakeholders to engage downstream companies,” said Rob Lederer, Chief Executive Officer of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).
The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) is an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The RMI is a multi-industry initiative with more than 400 member companies. Its members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources focused on minerals supply chain due diligence, including independent third-party audit programs for smelters, Minerals Reporting Templates, supply chain risk assessment tools, Country of Origin data, and guidance documents on responsible sourcing of all minerals/metals. The RMI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit ResponsibleMineralsInitiative.org
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