First Cobalt Corp. (TSX-V: FCC, OTC: FTSSF) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has adopted the Responsible Cobalt Initiative as the next step forward in its commitment to responsible mining in the DRC.
- Based on Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance, the Responsible Cobalt Initiative provides steps for member companies to take to identify and address potential adverse impacts associated with their activities or relationships
- Responsible Cobalt Initiative was launched in response to human rights abuses and egregious health and safety conditions in some artisanal cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- First Cobalt supports the Responsible Cobalt Initiative as part of its commitment to sustainable development in the DRC and the goal of zero harm to people, the environment and the communities in which it operates
Trent Mell, President and CEO commented,
“First Cobalt is committed to being a positive and contributing member of its operating communities. Mining activity can transform communities though regional economic development, career opportunities and provide an important source of income for local families. There is also the risk of contributing to significant adverse impacts, including serious human rights abuses and conflict. These problems cannot be fixed by one company and we are committed to working with industry partners and our communities to eliminate human rights abuses in the cobalt supply chain.”
Launched in November 2016, the Responsible Cobalt Initiative strives to bring about a collective response to social and environmental risks in the cobalt supply chain. It was developed in response to NGO reports detailing instances of child labour and egregious health and safety conditions in some artisanal cobalt mines in the DRC. The Initiative promotes the responsible sourcing and use of cobalt in all forms and aims to improve the lives of children and adults who mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Members of the Initiative pledge to follow OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, which calls for companies to trace how cobalt is being extracted, transported, manufactured and sold. The OECD provides clear, practical guidance for companies to ensure they do not contribute to conflict or human rights abuses through their mining activities through a five-step risk-based due diligence process. This applies to all companies in the mineral supply chain that could potentially use minerals from conflict affected or high-risk areas, including preproduction exploration activities. The Responsible Cobalt Initiative was put forward by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (CCCMC), with strong support from OECD. Its members include Apple, Beijing Easpring Material Technology, HP, Samsung SDI, Huayou Cobalt and Sony.
First Cobalt has adopted and is committed to following the Responsible Cobalt Initiative as part of its commitment to sustainable development and the goal of zero harm to people, the environment and the communities in which we operate. This commitment means that we strive to act consistently in all our activities in relation to human rights, health & safety, the environment and community relations.