Friday, July 12, 2024

TFM, a Subsidiary of CMOC, Receives the Copper Mark Certification: A First for the Mining Sector on the Continent

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Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Africa Feeds Staff writers are group of African journalists focused on reporting news about the continent and the rest of the world.

Tenke Fungurume Mining S.A. (TFM) of the CMOC Group Ltd. (CMOC), a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has officially received the Copper Mark certification in recognition of its responsible production practices, making TFM the first mine in Africa to receive the Copper Mark.

The Copper Mark is a leading assurance framework launched in 2020 to address the growing international demand for responsible sourcing and production, and to promote responsible practices throughout the copper, molybdenum, nickel, and zinc value chains. The Copper Mark is based on independent third-party assessments of mines and smelters to verify that each facility meets the requirements for responsible production practices.

The Copper Mark’s requirements cover all major environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Copper producers who receive the Copper Mark will automatically be able to meet the three responsible sourcing requirements of the London Metal Exchange (LME): responsible sourcing management systems, environmental management, and occupational health and safety.

TFM is currently the fifth largest copper mine in the world and the second largest cobalt mine, with five production lines and an annual capacity of 450,000 tonnes of copper. According to production forecasts for 2024, CMOC will increase its copper production by 150,000 tonnes, marking the largest increase in the industry this year.

Liang Wei, Vice President of ESG at CMOC, noted that the Copper Mark is a voluntary program for all industry members and that TFM began a series of preparations in 2022 and officially launched the validation process in 2023. In early 2024, TFM underwent an independent assessment by an international audit team accredited by the Copper Mark.

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The Copper Mark validation process was conducted based on the 32 different criteria of the Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA). This assessment was co-developed by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) and the Copper Mark and includes areas such as legal compliance, labour relations, environmental management, greenhouse gas emissions, water management, mine closure and reclamation, community development, grievance mechanisms, stakeholder communication, and due diligence in mineral supply chains.

These different criteria cover the entire production process of copper and cobalt products from mining and beneficiation to metallurgy. During the audit, 447 employees and contractors as well as 56 external stakeholders such as community members, non-governmental organizations, and government representatives were interviewed anonymously to fully validate the effectiveness of the management system.

“The Copper Mark certification underscores CMOC’s commitment to high ESG standards and continuous improvement. It demonstrates responsible production to all stakeholders and enhances product recognition on stock exchanges such as the LME, which can lead to premiums,” said Liang Wei.

Sun Ruiwen, President of CMOC, stated: “In recent years, CMOC has become a leading copper producer and the world’s largest cobalt producer. While increasing production, we have remained committed to providing high-quality, responsible products that are essential to the global energy transition. We are very pleased that TFM is the first mine in Africa to receive the Copper Mark certification.

This prestigious recognition highlights our commitment to sustainable development, which benefits not only our customers but also the general public. This achievement sets a new standard for responsible mining on the continent and reflects the growing global focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Consumers worldwide are increasingly ensuring that the materials they purchase adhere to responsible practices. Obtaining the Copper Mark also encourages us to create jobs, increase investments, and generate greater economic and social value in the DRC.”

By the end of 2023, of the more than 70 mines and smelters that participated in the Copper Mark certification process, 56 sites have obtained it. The total production of mines that have received the certification represents 30% of the world’s copper production.

About CMOC

CMOC Group Limited was founded in 1969 and is a private company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007 and the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2012. CMOC is an international company specializing in the exploration, mining, processing, refining, marketing, and trading of rare metals. Its main assets and operations are located in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. The company is one of the world’s largest producers of tungsten, molybdenum, and niobium, the largest producer of cobalt, and one of the world’s leading copper producers.

It is also the second-largest producer of phosphate fertilizers in Brazil. In terms of trading activities, the company ranks among the top three base metal traders globally. In line with its commitment to positive environmental and social impact, the company invests heavily in ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives, which has led to the creation of more than 32,000 jobs.

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