At this year’s Mining Indaba, Marie-Chantal Kaninda, President of Glencore in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), participated in a forum on 6 February discussing the shape of a successful business relationship between car manufacturers and mining companies. As the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market globally has driven demand for minerals produced in Africa, including cobalt, supply chain transparency and security have become crucial issues. Across its operations, Glencore is supplying battery minerals to a range of major car manufacturers to support their EV ambitions.

In the DRC, Glencore produces copper and cobalt, two strategic resources important for the energy transition, through its two operations, Kamoto Copper Company and Mutanda Mining. Cobalt, in particular, is used in current battery technologies, including EVs, making the car industry one of the main consumers of the commodity. According to the Cobalt Institute, in 2022, the DRC produced 73% of the world’s mined cobalt.

“Commodity companies and vehicle manufacturers need to work together to support the energy transition, including addressing challenges affecting the supply chain. For such a relationship to be productive, we believe transparency is key. We are committed to sourcing commodities in a manner that respects the rights of our workforce, communities, those involved in our supply chains and stakeholders affected by our business,” said Marie-Chantal Kaninda. “The DRC has historically been seen as a risk in this regard and we recognise cobalt from artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) operations is a reality in the global supply chain. While we do not use ASM material in our DRC operations, we support the efforts by responsible sourcing initiatives and international organisations to improve practices and address the risks of human rights violations.”

For Glencore, responsible sourcing, or supply chain responsibility, is the commitment to take into account social, ethical and environmental considerations when managing relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as to conduct due diligence on their supply chains and mitigation of human rights risks. It also includes encouraging site visits by supply chain representatives, and active participation as members in industry forums such as the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA) and the Global Battery Alliance (GBA).

Kaninda added: “We welcome opportunities like this to engage with car manufacturers that go beyond risk management and look at ways we can work together to realise development opportunities for mining communities and surrounding ecosystems.”

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