May 17, 2020

Responsible and conflict-free artisanal gold supply chain in Eastern Congo

Gold
Africa
Supply Chain
Dale Benton
2 min
The Democratic Republic of Congo has its first responsible and conflict-free artisanal gold supply chain fully operational.

The Just Gold project, whic...

The Democratic Republic of Congo has its first responsible and conflict-free artisanal gold supply chain fully operational.

The Just Gold project, which began as a pilot in Ituri Province back in 2015, has officially moved beyond the pilot stage having proven a successful chain of custody from mine site to explorer.

Just Gold please

The Just Gold project is an incentivised project in which artisanal gold miners can channel their gold output to legal exporters and responsible customers by offereing fair and transparent pricing. The project also provides capacity building, such as technical assistance to miners in return for legal sales.

Through the project, miners are taught better exploitation techniques and offered Just Gold project equipment, in return for which any gold produced must be tracked and sold through legal channels.

The project is the first of its kind to successfully trace conflict-free and legal artisanal gold mine from mine right through to export, applying regional and international standards.

An understanding

The Just Gold project comes from Partnership Africa Canada and the Democratic Republic of Congo government.  In September last year, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between PAC and Minister of Mines Martin Kabwelulu, highlighting the support for the organisations activities to strengthen the governance of the natural resources industry.

The Ministry of Mines played a key role in the establishment of Just Gold, recognising the project as a system of traceability and encouraged its implementation.

Signs of success

“After almost two years of testing the Just Gold project with an aim to develop a chain of custody and due diligence system for artisanal gold in DRC, we are excited to share news of our success,” said Joanne Lebert, Partnership Africa Canada’s Executive Director.

“The Just Gold project can now move from a period of testing to implementation and ensuring we have a long-term, sustainable and viable solution for traceable, legal and conflict-free exports of artisanal gold from Congo,” said Lebert.  “We look forward to sharing our lessons learned with key actors and to deepening our collaboration with the DRC Government.”

“Proving that artisanal gold in eastern Congo can be conflict-free, legal and traceable is a major step in responsible sourcing efforts in the Great Lakes region. The government of Democratic Republic of Congo is taking major strides in complying with regional standards and demonstrating how the implementation the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains can contribute to progressive improvements in the sector, supporting artisanal gold men and women miners to enter international markets,” said Lebert.

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May 10, 2021

Low carbon world needs $1.7trn in mining investment

Decarbonisation
battery metals
ESG
Wood Mackenzie
2 min
Mining companies need to invest $1.7trn in the next 15 years to supply enough copper, cobalt, nickel and the metals needed to create a low carbon world

According to a new report from consultancy Wood Mackenzie, mining companies need to invest nearly $1.7trn in the next 15 years to help supply enough copper, cobalt, nickel and other metals needed for the shift to a low carbon world.

Cutting carbon emissions

The United States, Britain, Japan, Canada and others raised their targets on cutting carbon emissions to halt global warming at a summit in April hosted by US President Joe Biden.

Meeting those targets will need large-scale deployment of electric vehicles, storage for power generated from renewables and electricity transmission, all of which require industrial materials, such as lightweight aluminium and metals used in batteries such as cobalt and lithium.

Wood Mackenzie

Wood Mackenzie analyst Julian Kettle calculated miners needed to invest about $1.7trn during the next 15 years to “deliver a two-degree pathway - where the rise in global temperatures since pre-industrial times is limited to 2°C”.

Wood Mackenzie

“At an industry level, there seems to be reticence around investing sufficient capital to develop future supply at the pace and scale demanded by the energy transition (ET),” he said.

Mining firms are wary of making heavy investments after their experience of the last decade when they invested in new capacity just as demand peaked, leading to a collapse in prices and revenues. They also need to please investors, who are unlikely to want to see dividends diverted to capital spending.

ESG

Rising demands of investors related environment, social and governance (ESG) issues further add to the challenge.

Australia, Canada and Western Europe carry a low ESG risk but some of the best resources are in high-risk areas, such as Democratic Republic of Congo, which sits on about half the world’s cobalt reserves according to the U.S. Geological Survey. “Given the need to meet tough decarbonisation and ESG targets, Western governments, lenders, investors and consumers will need to get comfortable operating in jurisdictions where ESG issues are more complex,” Kettle said.

Kettle said government support was needed to help miners comply with ESG issues to ensure production from high-risk areas was conducted in an acceptable way to consumers.

“Then, and only then, will the West be able to secure sufficient volumes of the raw materials needed to pursue the energy transition in the timescales envisaged.”

Digital Solutions

Digital solutions to enhance decarbonisation and support sustainability efforts in heavy industries like mining are being offered by Oren, a B2B marketplace conceived by Shell and IBM, and Axora.

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