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Organizations release Joint Due Diligence Standard for copper, lead, nickel and zinc

Five organizations representing their metal industries —The Copper Mark, the International Lead Association (ILA), the International Zinc Association (IZA), the Nickel Institute and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI)—have released the Joint Due Diligence Standard for Copper, Lead, Nickel and Zinc.

The Standard takes into account the risk profile of copper, lead, nickel and zinc (the principal covered metals) supply chains and is designed to enable effective due diligence for producers and/or traders of these metals. It intends to build on existing standards and looks to provide flexibility for multi-metal producers to include materials intended for the production of metal products other than of principal covered metals at their site(s) as needed.

The development of the Standard was made possible by the financial and in-kind support provided by the International Copper Association (ICA).

The Joint Due Diligence Standard will enable companies to comply with the London Metal Exchange (LME) Responsible Sourcing requirements. Conformance of companies with this Joint Due Diligence Standard will be assessed using The Copper Mark’s Assurance Process or the RMI’s Responsible Minerals Assurance Process.

The following types of companies are eligible to implement the Joint Due Diligence Standard and undergo an assessment:

  1. Copper producers participating in the Copper Mark. Implementation of the Joint Due Diligence Standard is currently voluntary and will be become mandatory for participating copper producers of the Copper Mark to demonstrate conformance with Criteria 31 of the Risk Readiness Assessment.

  2. All companies extracting, producing and/or trading copper, lead, nickel or zinc materials from mine sites to, and including, producers of refined metal products, which are generally referred to as the refiner.

  3. Producers of nickel chemical compounds and all nickel raw intermediate materials (including ferro-nickel, nickel pig iron, and nickel oxide sinter) entering production of stainless steel, alloys, batteries, plating, and where no refining takes place.

For companies listed under points 2 and 3, an assessment against the Joint Due Diligence Standard does not result in participation in the Copper Mark and companies are not eligible to make any claims in that regard.

The Joint Standard was developed by a working group including the partner organizations, other interested commodity associations, multi-metal company representatives, as well as OECD and LME. The Joint Due Diligence Standard will undergo an independent third-party OECD Alignment Assessment. Through the working group, the partner organizations implement a clearly defined roadmap to ensure copper, lead, nickel and zinc brands will be able to rely on the shared framework to respond to the LME before June 2022. The process includes four main phases:

  • Phase 1 – 2019 / early 2020: Development of the roadmap and formation of the working group (completed)

  • Phase 2 – 2020: Development of the joint Due Diligence Standard and Tool, including a public consultation (finalization of the tool in progress)

  • Phase 3 – Early 2021: Pilot implementation of the joint Due Diligence Standard

  • Phase 4 – 2021 / early 2022: Independent third-party OECD Alignment Assessment and application for approval by LME as Track A “OECD-aligned external standard”


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