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EGC enters trading agreement with Trafigura with the aim to transform the ASM cobalt mining sector in DRC

Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) signed a trading agreement with Trafigura Pte Ltd. The trading agreement includes the provision of finance by Trafigura to fund the creation of strictly controlled artisanal mining zones, the installation of ore purchasing stations and costs related to the transparent and traceable delivery of cobalt hydroxide to Trafigura on an export cleared basis.

Under the supply terms, EGC will ensure that the ore marketed by Trafigura complies with OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

In support of this agreement, EGC will establish a Technical Committee through which Trafigura and the international non-profit organisation Pact, among others, will promote responsible sourcing diligence. The NGO Pact works alongside local communities in nearly 40 countries to eradicate poverty, notably by making artisanal and small-scale mining formal, safer and more productive.

In 2018, Trafigura and Pact first piloted an approach to the responsible sourcing of cobalt from semi-mechanized operations at the Mutoshi concession in the DRC.

Today’s announcement is very important for the Congolese artisanal cobalt sector. This partnership responds to the will of the Government through its initiative for the defence and promotion of national artisanal production. For our country to benefit from the intrinsic value of cobalt, currently boosted by the development of carbon-free energies, it was essential that measures be taken to support the formalisation of this industry. In fact, by cleaning-up this sector, which has been subject to recurring illegality and fraud for several years, and of which our artisanal miners are the first victims, society stands to benefit as a whole.

Our mission is therefore as much in a perspective of the defence of our most vulnerable communities, as in the affirmation of the central positioning of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has 70 percent of the world reserves of this strategic mineral. We are confident that Trafigura, through its experience and expertise, will support us in our mission and ultimately enable us to achieve our goals.

—Jean-Dominique Takis Kumbo, EGC’s Managing Director

Kumi, a market leader in responsible sourcing practices in global supply chains, will support Trafigura and its partners in bringing responsibly sourced cobalt from artisanal and small-scale mines (ASM) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to market.

Kumi has long-held the belief that incorporating responsibly sourced minerals from ASM into global supply chains is possible and is the right thing to do. We welcome this announcement and are excited at the prospect of supporting Trafigura’s agreement with EGC.

Our approach to assurance is aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains incorporating both responsible sourcing and broader health, safety, environment, labor and community relations aspects.

—Andrew Britton, Managing Director at Kumi

Kumi has been working with Trafigura for several years supporting the company to develop and implement its responsible sourcing approach for the company’s minerals supply chains. This includes advising on the responsible integration of ASM operations, including at the Chemaf-owned Mutoshi project in Kolwezi, DRC.


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