Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), is pleased to announce its support for ‘Children out of Mining-Northern Kolwezi’ in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The initiative is being carried out by international development organisation Pact, in the Kolwezi region of the DRC, where ERG, a leading diversified natural resources company, operates its Metalkol RTR project.
Scheduled to run for a year, the programme will contribute to the Group’s wider commitment to ensure sustainable cobalt production, improve the quality of life for local communities and support multi-stakeholder efforts to achieve a responsible supply chain. With reserves in the order of 3.5 million tonnes, the DRC hosts most of the world's cobalt and is responsible for 50% of the global supply.
Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group and co-chair of the Global Battery Alliance, commented: “Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) accounts for approximately 25% of global cobalt supply and as the Fourth Industrial Revolution gathers momentum, so too does demand for the key metal. In servicing this increasing demand, metals suppliers need to ensure that cobalt is produced and sourced sustainably and responsibly. In this effort and through ‘Children Out of Mining-Northern Kolwezi’, we aim to continue to offer our support to local communities in the DRC, a country which is a cornerstone of ERG’s cobalt business.”
Through its involvement with the scheme, the Luxembourg-based mining company has pledged to support miners aged between 15 and 17 by way of a 6-month vocational training programme accompanied by short-term remuneration designed to help them transition out of their current occupation.
Sobotka concluded: “Pact is a leading international NGO in improving the lives of those who are challenged by poverty and marginalisation, and we are pleased to be partnering with them in helping children and adolescents transition out of the ASM sector and strengthening the capacity of local communities to address this salient issue in the DRC.”
Allied to this programme, ERG is also working to implement a Clean Cobalt Initiative at its Metalkol RTR project in the DRC, a reprocessing plant for historic cobalt and copper tailings from previous mining operations, aiming to guarantee sustainable and responsible sourcing of cobalt.
ERG and Pact are both founding members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance, an initiative that aims to accelerate action towards a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and innovative global battery chain.