Today, following extensive collaboration between Technical Committee members, EGC, Trafigura and Pact, with support from external experts, EGC released its ‘EGC Responsible Sourcing Standard’ (“the EGC Standard”) to support the establishment and maintenance of safe and strictly controlled artisanal cobalt mining zones in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Pact teams on the ground will be responsible for widespread training and monitoring the implementation of the EGC Standard on the ground, developing robust stakeholder engagement forums, providing technical assistance to identify, mitigate and monitor health, safety, environment, traceability and community risks while maintaining a permanent presence on operating sites and supporting continuous improvement of conditions for miners, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) cooperatives, government and other key stakeholders.
The EGC Standard will apply to all sites overseen by EGC and has been designed to complement and indeed go beyond regulatory compliance as determined by the Agency for Regulation and Control of the Strategic Mineral Substance Markets (ARECOMS), which has regulatory oversight over EGC.
The EGC Standard aligns with DRC law, DRC mining regulations and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
External standards benchmarked as part of the development process for the EGC Standard included Certified Trading Chains (CTC), the Craft Code, Amnesty International’s Principles and the Responsible Minerals Initiative's Risk Readiness Assessment.
Following their appointment by EGC’s Technical Committee, international due diligence experts Kumi will conduct quarterly assurance reviews against the EGC Standard at every EGC site.
About the ASM Cobalt formalization project in the DRC
Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) was established in response to two decrees issued in November 2019 by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Prime Minister and Minister of Mines.
EGC’s role is to purchase, process and sell cobalt produced by artisanal miners or companies involved in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in the DRC. On October 27, 2020, Trafigura entered into an offtake agreement with EGC for cobalt. A component of the agreement included support by Trafigura to EGC and its partners for the development of controls and traceability associated with ASM cobalt production.
EGC, Pact and Trafigura are aligned in the belief that supporting the DRC State in formalizing the ASM cobalt sector represents a game-changing opportunity for the country and for the wider cobalt industry.