24 Aug 2021

RMI (Responsible Mineral Initiative) and RCI (Responsible Cobalt Initiative) published their revised Cobalt Refiner Supply Chain Due Diligence Standard on Aug 19,2021.

The Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI) is initiated by the upstream and downstream companies in the global cobalt supply chain. It is dedicated in identifying, preventing and addressing the social and environmental challenges of cobalt supply chain with a systematic method, minimizing negative impacts, improving community livelihood, and building an inclusive, sustainable and responsible cobalt supply chain.

This revised standard replaces the originally released 2018 due diligence standard of Cobalt refiner supply chain.

This revised standard enables companies to also comply with the London Metal Exchange (LME); along with supporting companies’ due diligence and responsible production and sourcing activities within the cobalt value chain.

A multi-year process to review the process and results of independent third-party assessments and receive feedback from refiners, auditors and customers, resulted in this revised standard.

Major changes in Cobalt Refiner Supply Chain Due Diligence Standard

  • Required data points captured by system of controls and transparency for all cobalt-bearing material received is clarified.
  • Requirements to assess plausibility of material coming from declared sources is clarified.
  • Articulation of further company risk management requirements.
  • Addition of Step 6: Community Participation. It encourages companies to consider ways to effectively engage local communities to establish partnerships with artisanal miners, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders.

The revised Standard included the principles and requirements of the Chinese Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

This standard encourages companies to source responsibly from Conflict-Affected ,High-Risk Areas ,artisanal and small-scale mineral producers. Procurement responsibilities not only include due diligence and risk management but also ,engagement with stakeholders in the supply chain .This will drive a positive impact for the local communities that are beyond the actions required under this Standard.

Assessment of this standard will be done by an independent third-party OECD Alignment. Its also necessary to obtain formal approval by the LME.

The revised Cobalt Refiner Supply Chain Due Diligence Standard can be downloaded from here.

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