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GIZ and RCS Global form technical collaboration to pilot empowering cooperatives to assess risks and implement improvement measures at ASM cobalt mine sites

Berlin / Kolwezi, 6 September 2021. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, has commissioned RCS Global Group through its Better Mining program to pilot empowering cooperatives to conduct self-monitoring of risks and incidents on ASM cobalt sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 

The mineral agnostic Better Mining assurance and improvement program already includes around 40 ASM sites in the DRC and Rwanda currently spanning 3TG, copper, and cobalt mines. The innovative new pilot project with GIZ will bring the internationally recognised solution to ASM mine sites where Better Mining is not yet fully present. 

In close cooperation with DRC Government technical agencies for the mining sector, RCS Global will train ASM cooperatives on these sites and equip them to input responsible sourcing risk data that will then be verified through Better Mining’s online platform to enable the tracking of adherence to responsible practices through an online dashboard, accessible to the cooperatives and GIZ. 

RCS Global’s risk experts will review the data and develop corrective action plans (CAPs) for each mine site. These CAPs will be workshopped at the mine sites on a monthly basis together with local stakeholders on the mines. Cooperatives can upload evidence of implementation of improvement measures through the Better Mining app. 

This process will enable the creation of a standardised process to inform and track the continual improvement on self-monitored sites. 

The project will directly support GIZ’s project ‘Integrated Economic Development in the Mining Sector’, funded by the German Government. The project’s key aim is to help enable the mining sector to support sustainable development in the DRC. Part of it includes support to ASM cooperatives in demonstrating conformance with international and national responsible production standards – an area where RCS Global is a recognised world leader and the Better Mining program is having a significant impact. 

The collaboration with GIZ is the latest milestone in the expansion of Better Mining. RCS Global’s Better Mining program is currently implementing its solution on 8 cobalt sites and in collaboration with the Responsible Mineral Initiative (RMI) will expand in 2022 to 12 copper-cobalt sites as well as to over 40 3TG sites. 

The technical collaboration with GIZ will focus on 3 additional pilot ASM cobalt sites in the DRC. Each site will go through an initial Better Mining mine site assessment for responsible production that will form the baseline to improve off of.

The pilot project with GIZ follows the recent announcement that Better Mining will also be technically cooperating on a similar project with UNICEF, funded by the German Government (BMZ) to further enhance the monitoring and mitigation of potential child labour incidents in the DRC and wider global ASM sector.