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.