Bringing the cobalt supply chain together
Cobalt plays a key role in enabling a transition to a green economy. Nevertheless, public discourse around cobalt has been predominantly negative, focusing, to a large extent, on the adverse impacts of mining activities. This creates a dichotomy between cobalt as a key to reach a clean, carbon-free future on the one hand, and its extraction being characterised by poverty-driven child labour and human rights issues on the other.
Because of this, many companies have turned away from engaging with ASM sites due to a fear of association with these issues. However, a supply chain wide-responsibility to engage with and invest in ASM poses the first step towards responsible ASM engagement. Rather than avoiding any association with ASM altogether, companies should be channelling resources and energy into programmes that are actively creating dignified working conditions at the majority of ASM cobalt sites and the development of the local economy at large.
Working together towards a fair cobalt supply chain
At the FCA, we offer a platform for collaboration in a pre-competitive environment for organisations to get involved through membership, strategic partnerships, donations, and in the future, through sourcing. Our platform brings all relevant actors together to create the changes we all want to see.
What connects our members, supporting donors and partners from different positions within the cobalt supply chain is the strong belief that positive change is possible, and that collaboration can advance sustainable development in mining communities. In fact, we believe that collaboration is the ONLY way forward. Through collaboration, artisanal cobalt mining can become a strong driver for development, turning mineral endowments into long-term prosperity for Congolese communities.
We envisage a role for cooperatives on the ground, companies all throughout the supply chain from refineries to automotive and electronics, government bodies and regulatory services, academics, and civil society at large. We seek to pool skills, expertise, and resources from a wide array of stakeholders to complement each other. We also understand that different stakeholders have different needs and might have a different perspective on the complexities surrounding these issues. With transparent governance and a wealth of experience, we offer a reliable source of information to educate supply chain actors.
Wherever you are in the supply chain, you have a role to play.