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Fair Cobalt Alliance welcomes latest members

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Global Mining Review,

China Molybdenum Co., Ltd (CMOC) – the second largest cobalt producer and the largest tungsten producer in the world – and its Geneva-based trading arm, IXM, have announced that they have joined the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA), the action platform that brings together actors across the cobalt supply chain.

CMOC’s and IXM’s commitment to responsible sourcing and desire to contribute to the economic development of the copper-cobalt belt, led both companies to join the growing list of FCA members. The Alliance is pledging to assist in the formalisation and professionalisation of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) cobalt sector and to help improve the lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mining communities.

The FCA welcomes its growing membership from across the supply chain, including electric vehicle (EV)-manufacturers Tesla, Volvo Cars, and Sono Motors; electronics manufacturers, Fairphone, Signify, and Shift; mining and metals companies, Glencore and Huayou Cobalt; and battery manufacturers, Amperex Technology Limited, who joined the FCA earlier in 2021. The FCA seeks to work in alignment with the new DRC government nationally. At provincial level, it already works closely with authorities, artisanal mining cooperatives, local community leadership, Congolese NGOs and civil society such as CARF and Maison Kwetu. The FCA collaborates also with international development organisations such as UNICEF, Save the Children and The Miller Centre of Social Entrepreneurship.

CMOC’s decision to join the FCA is significant, as it is an example of the industrial mining sector committing to play an active role in improving conditions in ASM communities.

Julie Liang, Director of CMOC's Sustainability Executive Committee, commented: “CMOC is a key player in the global mining sector and is committed to ensuring all mineral production meets the highest standards. As a large industrial miner that maintains strict product control and custody procedures, ASM sits outside of our own cobalt supply chain but we recognise that ASM, and those communities reliant on it, should not be neglected.

“In consideration of the complex issues to address such as poverty-driven child labour and working conditions at ASM sites, the FCA advocates for supply chain wide collaboration and coordination of efforts on the ground. We are proud to be supporting the work of the FCA.”

“Through our responsible sourcing standard, IXM has long recognised that the non-acceptance of ASM cobalt does not help to address the issues or their root causes. On the contrary, disengagement from ASM creates the risk that the ASM cobalt trade will become even more hidden, leaving the miners and their families worse-off. By joining the FCA, IXM follows the OECD’s recommendation to contribute to collective action, fostering the creation of responsibly produced ASM cobalt,” added Robert Sidders, Head of Specialty Metals at IXM.

Dr Assheton S. Carter, Executive Director, FCA, concluded: “As the world relies on cobalt to fuel a green transition, it is the responsibility of actors across the supply chain to ensure that cobalt production is not to the detriment, but to the benefit of the Congolese people. It is exciting to have yet another industrial miner and, for the first time, a cobalt trading company join the FCA, getting us closer to fulfilling our vision of supply chain wide engagement, from mine to market. IXM and CMOC can be proud of joining the pioneers that have taken a bold step to engage and invest, in line with our belief that responsible sourcing starts with taking responsibility.”

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