The first episode of Copper Matters focused on the certification of responsible copper production

More than 300 people participated in the first episode of Copper Matters, an initiative organized jointly by Cesco and CRU, and which in its first two versions has the support of the International Copper Association. The second episode of this webinar series will be on July 21.

In order to know in detail the new certification system to guarantee responsible copper production called The Copper Mark, and which was launched in March of this year, the first episode of Copper Matters was carried out, a series of webinars organized by Cesco and CRU,  which had the participation of more than 300 people.

The instance included the participation of Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director of The Copper Mark, Georgina Hallett, Chief of Staff of the London Metal Exchange, and Alan Chirgwin, VP of Sales and Marketing for Copper and Diamonds, Rio Tinto.

“How can we verify that copper is indeed being produced responsibly? And how can we help producers communicate their good practices to both their clients and their investors? That is why The Copper Mark has defined what responsible production means and, based on other standards, we have created one that includes 32 criteria related to environmental, social and governance aspects, among others”, said Michèle Brülhart during her speech. “We span from business integrity to child labor, human rights, biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, or tailings management, covering all major issues, and our vision is to help the copper industry to apply these good practices, communicate them, and be recognized for that. ”

For her part, Georgina Hallett of the London Metal Exchange explained how the entity has adopted the requirement of responsible sourcing of metals and that, after listening to the 50 firms that work with them, they decided that they should play a leading role in the process. “It is our responsibility to be leaders for the industry. We are a core part of the metals industry, so we had the opportunity to provide a solution that recognizes the idiosyncrasies of the metals market, and The Copper Mark makes that easy for us”, said Hallett.

The BML representative explained to the audience that, for the organization, The Copper Mark was presented as an opportunity defining a clear and pragmatic process. “We wanted to use a system that was transparent and had standards, because both are very powerful tools in their own way, and together they can really facilitate the advancement of the market in this area”, said Hallett.

This certification system provides copper operations with a tangible way to demonstrate its best practices and contribution to the United Nations SDGs, and Rio Tinto has been one of the first companies to start the process. For Allan Chirgwin, this has two key factors: “first, is an opportunity to turn words into action; and second, is an opportunity to promote broader improvement in the industry and show what kind of benefits can be obtained with The Copper Mark”.

The panelists also received questions from key figures in the industry, such as Diego Hernández, president of Sonami, who asked about the amount of copper that could be certified and the time it would take  to do so.

In this regard, The Executive Director of The Copper Mark, Michèle Brülhart, explained that they expect that the vast majority of the members of the International Copper Association to participate in the initiative in the next 3 to 5 years, and that they are also looking at other key markets, such as Asia, where there are also producers who could be certified.

To finish, an online survey was carried out to the attendees on the risks that can be found for the responsible production of copper, where the results showed that the greatest of these risks are environmental issues, followed by the lack of traceability and thirdly, issues related to human rights.

Second episode

The second episode of Copper Matters will take place on July 21, at 09:30 Chilean time, and will deal with the use of copper in electric motors, a demand that will grow thanks to the increase in the manufacture of electric or battery-powered cars in the next years. Electric motors represent an important source of growth for the copper industry in the next decade.

As speakers, this chapter will feature Luke Gear, Senior Technology Analyst, IDTechEx, Marcin Seredynski, Head of Innovation and Research, Volvo, Simon Brockway, Advanced Motor Research Manager, Protean Electric Ltd., and Cleef C. Thackwell, Lead Motor Designer, Jaguar Land Rover.