HomeBattery metalsA positive step towards empowering ASMs

A positive step towards empowering ASMs

Did you know that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) cobalt accounts for more than 63% of global production?

Of this, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activity is responsible for approximately 20% of this production.

Yet, despite their significant contribution, little has been done to help formalise the ASM cobalt sector in the country. That is until now.

Last week, the Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) officially launched its activities to support the commercialisation of responsibly sourced artisanal cobalt.

EGC will now be responsible for purchasing all domestically produced ASM cobalt ore, prior to processing and/or transformation and marketing.

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As part of the initiative, EGC also launched its Responsible Sourcing Standards to define the operational principles that the organisation will require to support the establishment of safe and strictly controlled artisanal cobalt mining zones.

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The launch of EGC comes at a time when global demand for cobalt is one the rise which is likely to result in the DRC increasing its production output.

More importantly, it comes at a time when consumers are no longer requesting that raw materials are responsibly sourced – they are a demanding it.

It is still early days but the introduction of the EGC is a significant boost towards protecting the livelihoods of ASMs and creating an ethically and responsibly sourced cobalt supply chain in the DRC.

Gerard Peter
Gerard Peter is a content creator and media strategist with more than 23 years' experience in new and traditional media.

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