The Copper Mark, which was launched in 2019, is an assurance framework to promote responsible practices in the copper industry and to demonstrate the industry's contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It independently verifies whether individual copper producing sites have responsible production practices using a rigorous site-level assessment process.
There is a robust three-year re-evaluation process at site-level for participants in the Copper Mark framework. They commit to continual improvement, and are required to build the management systems that are needed to ensure ongoing legal compliance.
The organisation said that its new awards mark significant progress towards promoting responsible production practices throughout the copper industry. It added that KGHM's Glogów and Legnica operations are the second and third sites across Europe to receive the Copper Mark, and the first sites in Poland - which demonstrates strong progress in developing the global awareness and reach of the Copper Mark.
Michèle Brülhart, executive director of the Copper Mark, said: "We are delighted to be able to award the Copper Mark to three new sites from our long-standing partners Antofagasta and KGHM. This brings the total number of Copper Mark-awarded sites to 12, which together produce over 10% of global copper. This is a very exciting milestone for the Copper Mark, and illustrates the growing commitment from stakeholders across the copper value chain to support and promote responsible production practices."
Rio Tinto's Kennecott mine in Utah, US was the first site to achieve a Copper Mark in August 2020, and other sites that have achieved it include Turquoise Hill Resources' Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, and Freeport McMoRan's Cerro Verde mine in Peru, El Abra operation in Chile and Atlantic Copper smelter and refinery in Spain. In April, equipment, technology and service provider FLSmidth joined Copper Mark as a partner.
The Copper Mark also welcomed the LMEpassport, a centralised digital register that stores electronic Certificates of Analysis (CoAs) and sustainability credentials for London Metal Exchange (LME)-listed metals that was launched by the LME on August 31.
The LMEpassport facilitates a straightforward method of sharing information throughout the value chain by allowing relevant information about metals to be recorded digitally. Its users can voluntarily upload verifiable certifications for specific metal batches.
The Copper Mark is among the first group of standards LME brands can indicate to demonstrate their sustainability credentials. The Copper Mark Criteria and Joint Due Diligence Standard have been included in LMEpassport as relevant sustainability data points which can be voluntarily submitted by users.
The organisation said this marks a further strengthening of its relationship with the London Metal Exchange, one of its key collaborators in promoting responsible metals production and sourcing practices, and reflects the growing credibility of the Copper Mark throughout the global supply chain.
Brülhart commented: "We very much welcome the roll-out of the London Metal Exchange's new LMEpassport. This system has an important role to play in promoting transparency and information-sharing, both of which are essential for advancing responsible production and sourcing practices throughout the industry."