The ERG Cobalt Initiative
Eurasian Resources Group embeds responsible mining practices into a third party assured chain of custody to create a strong, ethically rooted cobalt supply chain able to drive local economic development. This is supported by community development projects devised to fight the use of child labour by artisanal and small-scale miners and open up new opportunities for education, healthcare and improved living conditions. To achieve this, the project focuses on three primary goals:
- Maintaining an assured chain of custody
ERG believes all cobalt buyers – including electronics producers, automotive manufacturers and industrial users – should know where their cobalt comes from, and must seek to ensure that it has been produced responsibly. Chain of Custody includes third party validation and is aligned to the OECD’s Supply Chain Due Diligence Guidance and UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
- Community development focused on children out of mining
Artisanal mining is a key issue in the cobalt value chain, and is a practice that is also a crucial part of the structure of local economies. ERG recognises the role artisanal mining plays in local ecosystems, but also firmly believes that issues like child labour, environmental damage and generally unsafe mining practices cannot and must not be overlooked.
To address the root causes of these issues, with a particular focus on child labour, ERG is active in its support of community development programmes, including those that create alternative livelihoods and provide education and child protection.
- Driving education and issue advocacy through partnerships
Changing the dynamics of artisanal mining for the better is a task that requires strong partnerships – it cannot be achieved by a single organisation. ERG is committed to raising awareness of the core issues at play through fact-based advocacy at industry events and development forums, as well as through direct communication in the public realm and activity within the communities. This advocacy is at the heart of the formation of important partnerships that enable coordinated and collective effort from the industry as a whole.