Responsibility


We are committed to developing a robust and responsible business.

Beyond the promotion of our own rigorous approach to managing safety, health, environmental impacts and community matters, we are also committed to collaborating with our downstream partners in bringing responsibly sourced products to international markets.

We actively contribute to the due diligence measures taken by our downstream partners. Most recently these assessments, of which we have had many, have incorporated the review of our health and safety, human rights and labour performance, environmental management programmes as well as community engagement strategy.

We have committed to working alongside our partners, authoritative external bodies and NGOs to ensure that our supply chain meets their exacting requirements.


Community


Chemaf believes in contributing to the prosperity of the DRC by providing job opportunities for Congolese nationals and by investing in local community projects.

Our priority is first to manage our own impacts in the community. Secondly, we have sought to support social projects that empower local communities to improve their way of life.

We have invested significantly in the provision of infrastructure, including through the construction of roads, as well as through health and education projects around our operations.

One of our most important social contributions has been our investment in the Shalina Ophthalmological Center – a non-profit organisation that offers free eye care, including performing cataract operations for those in need.


Safety and the environment


We are mindful of the hazardous nature of our activities and of the environmental footprint of our operations.

We comply with all local and regional legislation and are increasingly seeking to apply international standards, such as the IFC performance standards, to our business.

We know that we have more to do to improve, but we are committed to a substantial and ongoing body of work in support of improving our social and environmental performance and of mitigating any negative impacts for the long term.


Artisanal & small-scale mining (ASM)


We work with our commercial partners, the international NGO Pact and internationally-renowned auditors to develop and test our approach to corporate responsibility.

The first audit of our cobalt operations against international guidelines for corporate responsibility was conducted in July 2017.  Since that point, we have worked tirelessly to improve systems and processes and, above all, develop a culture of responsible operations.

Pilot ASM project at Mutoshi

In early 2018, we set out to develop our Mutoshi concession near Kolwezi – initially we did this on a pilot basis by appointing an artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) co-operative.  Our commercial partners required the engagement of internationally-respected NGO Pact to support the project and scrutinise progress against international standards.

Pact has extensive experience in working with artisanal miners in challenging environments and is a sector leader in the practical implementation of responsible ASM sourcing.

The ASM pilot project at Mutoshi has drawn extensively on Chemaf’s mining expertise, Pact’s developmental knowledge and the knowhow of our commercial partners.

Conscious of stakeholder concerns about ASM material, we introduced controls to ensure that any material received from the pilot ASM project at Mutoshi would be handled and processed separately from material originating from our mechanised mines.   These controls, which were required by our commercial partners, included the following:

  • We ensure that all cobalt ore recovered from our pilot Mutoshi project leaves the site on trucks with tarpaulin that has been secured and tied by tamper-proof metal tags;
  • We draw up a cargo manifest that is forwarded to our Usoke processing facility in Lubumbashi for verification at point of receipt;
  • The cargo manifest is verified on arrival at the processing unit.  In the event that a cargo were to arrive at the facility that did not appear on the manifest, trucks would not be permitted to enter;
  • By contrast, all cobalt ore recovered at our mechanised mines is transported to and processed at our neighbouring Etoile processing facility;
  • On completion of processing, all cobalt hydroxide produced by our Usoke Plant is bagged and branded according to its processing origin;
  • For storage, transport and onward export purposes, Usoke-origin product (originally from our Mutoshi ASM project) remains segregated from any other material (e.g. of mechanised mine origin).

Our efforts at Chemaf to underpin a responsible supply chain are not only critically important for our immediate partners, they also help deliver against our goal to convert copper and cobalt into a source of national pride and development.