16 June 2021
The London Metal Exchange (LME) is today pleased to announce its funding partnership with the charities Pact and The Impact Facility, with the aim of tackling child labour and children’s rights issues in mining communities directly affected by these responsible sourcing concerns.
Pact, an international development organisation and expert in artisanal and small-scale mining, will undertake a three-year project in the central and copper-belt provinces of Zambia. The programme will involve working with communities to deliver improved access to education, social services, vocational training and other activities, with the aim of supporting the reduction of the number of children working in mines.
Caroline Anstey, President and CEO of Pact, said: “Child labour in mining is insidious, robbing children of their childhood, health and opportunities. Yet we know from our experience in Colombia and DRC that change is possible through integrated, community-based solutions. We are thrilled to partner with the LME, along with miners, local communities and the Zambian government to support responsible supply chains and provide an environment where children can thrive.”
The Impact Facility, a global sustainability organisation that seeks to bring economic and environmental empowerment to artisanal and small-scale mining communities, will be undertaking a three-year project as part of the multi-stakeholder Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA), designed to significantly reduce the numbers of children working in mines through providing support to existing schools in the DRC, encouraging attendance and raising the quality of care for students.
Assheton Stewart Carter, Founder, Trustee and Executive Director at The Impact Facility, commented: “Remediating child labour within the artisanal cobalt mining sector is an enormous and complex task. And above all, a task that should be shared between companies all across the cobalt supply chain. The Impact Facility is exceptionally proud to have LME join us in our endeavour to help address the root causes of child labour and strive towards a fairer and safer ASM cobalt sector”.
Gay Huey Evans CBE, LME Chairman, commented: “We’re proud to be funding these important projects run by two charities in areas where responsible sourcing is of greatest concern. It’s vital that all of us who participate in global metal and mineral supply chains – whether directly or indirectly – work together to ensure mining is free from human rights abuses. These projects aim to achieve this by supporting artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities to address the root causes of child labour and further embed responsible mining practices into the global ecosystem.”
Georgina Hallett, LME Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “As we said when we introduced our responsible sourcing rules in 2019, the metals trading community is unified in its commitment to ensuring supply chains are free of corruption and the worst forms of child labour. This funding, which has been allocated from LME market fine proceeds, represents part of our community’s contribution to progressing and improving the physical market it serves.”
A nonprofit international development organization founded in 1971, Pact works in nearly 40 countries to improve the lives of those who are challenged by poverty and marginalization. We serve these communities because we envision a world where everyone owns their future. Pact’s mining program uses an integrated, market-based approach and brings together government, industry and miners themselves to make ASM formal, safer and more productive.
About The Impact Facility
The Impact Facility supports mining communities in building thriving small businesses that contribute to the local economy and offers users of metals and minerals a source of responsibly produced raw materials. To achieve this
goal, The Impact Facility develops and implements long-term engagement strategies that provide mining communities access to technical assistance, access to capital and equipment, and access to fair terms on international markets.
About the London Metal Exchange
The London Metal Exchange is the world centre for industrial metals trading. Most of the world’s non-ferrous metals business is conducted on the LME totalling $11.6 trillion, 155 million lots and 3.5 billion tonnes in 2020. The metals community uses the LME, an HKEX Group company, as a venue to transfer or take on price risk, as a physical market of last resort and as the provider of transparent global reference prices.