Copper Mark to evolve into 'single multi-metal framework'

International Molybdenum Association, International Zinc Association and Nickel Institute are joining The Copper Mark, strengthening sustainable practices

The International Molybdenum Association (IMOA), International Zinc Association (IZA) and the Nickel Institute (NI) are to join The Copper Mark.

The aim is to pilot the Copper Mark assurance framework for molybdenum, nickel and zinc producers in 2022 with a full launch planned for 2023, and to promote responsible production practices by making its assurance framework available to molybdenum, nickel and zinc producers.

The collaboration will support work to promote sustainable and responsible production and sourcing practices within the molybdenum, nickel and zinc value chains, while also promoting convergence around a core set of standards as defined in the Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA).

The commodity associations expect to significantly reduce administrative burdens, minimise costs and provide a mechanism for copper, molybdenum, nickel and zinc producers to meet market expectations as well as growing regulatory requirements. 

The proposed Molybdenum Mark, Zinc Mark and Nickel Mark will benefit from the recognition that The Copper Mark has already obtained from the LME, including integration into the LMEpassport, and from the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). Collaboration is one of the five principles of the Copper Mark.

Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director of the Copper Mark, said the collaboration builds on the Joint Due Diligence Standard, highlighting the growing importance of responsible production practices and promoting convergence around and uptake of existing standards, as opposed to creating new ones.

"It will enable copper, nickel, and zinc producers as well as value chain stakeholders to speak with a single voice on the importance of promoting sustainable practices," she said.

Eva Model, Secretary-General of IMOA, said Copper Mark is an established assurance framework which can be readily adapted to the molybdenum supply chain. "Our collaboration with the Copper Mark, which began in 2021, offers our molybdenum producing members an opportunity to respond to increasing downstream expectations as proof of assurance against a comprehensive set of ESG standards," she said.

Andrew Green, Executive Director of IZA said: “With this collaboration, IZA supports member companies’ compliance with increasing regulatory requirements and customer demand for ESG assurance worldwide. By working jointly with other metals commodity associations to build upon a successful and credible responsible sourcing standard and assurance framework, that is applicable to zinc and its by-products, we will minimize workload and bureaucracy for companies.”

Hudson Bates, President of NI, said the development of the Copper Mark into a single framework for multi-metal companies is a major step forward in supporting the nickel industry’s compliance with ever-increasing responsible sourcing requirements. 

"This uniform approach recognises the commonality that nickel has with other metals – and that metals often occur together in ore deposits. It will significantly reduce the reporting and auditing burden of multiple standards and will demonstrate that the metals industry is sustainable and responsible.”  

The collaboration makes use of existing standards and systems. The four organizations are not establishing any new standards and will use the Copper Mark’s Standard Setting Procedure to further evolve existing standards.

A site-based system, the Copper Mark assurance framework covers any materials, including by-products, that are produced at the participating site.

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