Assurance body the Copper Mark plans to partner with fellow metals industry associations the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA), the International Zinc Association (IZA) and the Nickel Institute (NI).
The Copper Mark said the move would help it promote responsible production practices by making its assurance framework available to molybdenum, nickel and zinc producers. It plans to pilot the Copper Mark assurance framework for molybdenum, nickel and zinc producers in 2022, with a full launch planned for 2023.
"We are pleased to be opening the Copper Mark assurance framework to molybdenum, nickel, and zinc producers, strengthening the collaboration between the Copper Mark, IMOA, IZA and NI," said Michèle Brülhart, executive director of the Copper Mark.
"This collaboration … will enable copper, nickel, and zinc producers as well as value chain stakeholders to speak with a single voice on the importance of promoting sustainable practices."
The commodity associations said an assurance framework could significantly reduce administrative burdens, minimize costs and provide a mechanism for copper, molybdenum, nickel and zinc producers to meet market expectations as well as growing regulatory requirements.
The proposed Molybdenum Mark, Zinc Mark and Nickel Mark will benefit from the recognition that The Copper Mark has already obtained from the LME, including integration into the LMEpassport, and from the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).
Eva Model, Secretary-General of IMOA said: "Copper Mark is an established assurance framework which can be readily adapted to the molybdenum supply chain. Our collaboration with the Copper Mark, which began in 2021, offers our molybdenum producing members an opportunity to respond to increasing downstream expectations as proof of assurance against a comprehensive set of ESG standards."
Andrew Green, Executive Director of IZA said: "With this collaboration, IZA supports member companies' compliance with increasing regulatory requirements and customer demand for ESG assurance worldwide. By working jointly with other metals commodity associations to build upon a successful and credible responsible sourcing standard and assurance framework, that is applicable to zinc and its by-products, we will minimize workload and bureaucracy for companies."
Hudson Bates, President of NI said: "The development of the Copper Mark into a single framework for multi-metal companies is a major step forward in supporting the nickel industry's compliance with ever-increasing responsible sourcing requirements. This uniform approach recognizes the commonality that nickel has with other metals - and that metals often occur together in ore deposits. It will significantly reduce the reporting and auditing burden of multiple standards and will demonstrate that the metals industry is sustainable and responsible."
The collaboration makes use of existing standards and systems. The four organizations are not establishing any new standards and will use the Copper Mark's Standard Setting Procedure to further evolve existing standards.