Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “the Group”), a leading diversified natural resources group, is pleased to announce its support for “Children out of Mining-Northern Kolwezi”, an initiative carried out by international development organisation, Pact, in the Kolwezi region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”) where ERG’s Metalkol RTR project is located.
“Children Out of Mining-Northern Kolwezi” aims to raise awareness and strengthen child protection norms through a range of tailored capacity-building interventions focused on tackling the risks children may face in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). Despite its significant contribution to the local economy, ASM is often associated with a failure to meet social and environmental norms and regulations when proper controls are not instituted. The project will also directly 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.
Scheduled to run for a year, the programme, contributes 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.
In this context, the Group is 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.
“Private-sector involvement is one of the fastest ways to achieve change at scale and is critical for systemic change,” says Mark Viso, President & CEO of Pact. “As a driver of the formation of the Global Battery Alliance and the pursuit of sustainable, responsible and transparent sourcing of cobalt, ERG is making it possible to scale proven interventions that are vital to children’s ability to transition out of mining and is helping to provide a network of contiguous support for children across the region.”
Commenting on the project, Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group and co-chair of the Global Battery Alliance, said: “Pact is a leading international NGO in improving the lives of those who are challenged by poverty and marginalization, and we are pleased to be partnering with them in helping children and adolescents transition out of the artisanal sector (ASM) and strengthening the capacity of local communities to address this salient issue in the DRC.”
“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.”