INTERVIEW: DRC artisanal mining standard reopens door for financing banks, Trafigura exec says

The launch of the first responsible sourcing standard for artisanal cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has reopened the door for financing banks previously unwilling to invest in the sector, the head of corporate responsibility at Trafigura said.

According to James Nicholson, the creation of Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) and its newly launched standard allows artisanal material to be accepted into the formal supply chain. Previously, there have been concerns over the use of child labor plus other factors including poor environmental and safety standards.
“What’s really exciting for me is that banks which hadn’t invested in the DRC previously are now willing to, as well as in artisanal mining formalization, because of the process we’ve adopted,” he said in an interview with Fastmarkets.
“The EGC standard is changing the opinion on artisanal production from the DRC and how to operate transparently,” Nicholson added.

EGC was established in 2019 and is a subsidiary of the DRC’s state-owned company, Gecamines. Its mandate is to exercise a monopoly in the country on the sourcing of cobalt from artisanal mining operations, with processing required prior to export...

Published

Andrea Hotter

March 31, 2021

15:01 GMT

New York