“Fourteen NGOs oppose London Metal Exchange plans to ban tainted cobalt”

Forbes Sustainable Business websiteposted the above-titled article, which reads as follows:

“LONDON (Reuters) – Fourteen non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including Amnesty and Global Witness have opposed plans by the London Metal Exchange to ban cobalt tainted by human rights abuses, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

Cobalt is a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, a fast-growing sector of the auto industry, and in metal alloys used to make jet engines.

It was singled out in LME proposals to embed responsible sourcing principles into metal brands deliverable against its contracts, which include copper and zinc.

Most of the world’s supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, often from artisanal mines where several organizations have cited human rights abuses.

The LME plan outlined last October involves suspending cobalt brands trading at a significant discount to its contract on the grounds that they may be seen as tainted.

Now, objections by NGOs to a consultation on its plans could leave the exchange at risk of legal challenges from banned cobalt producers, metal industry sources say.

The LME will publish its proposals this quarter.

‘The LME received 39 responses to its recent discussion paper on responsible sourcing,’ the exchange said.

‘The LME’s role is now to identify a path forwards which balances the diverse views of its stakeholders (including civil society organizations), while achieving the LME’s stated aim of helping the broader metals industry embrace key principles of responsible sourcing and environmental stewardship.’

The letter from the NGOs said the LME should not immediately ban cobalt brands and that it should work with firms that produce them to ensure responsible sourcing.”





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