Copper, lead, nickel and zinc join forces to respond to LME Responsible Sourcing Rules

In October 2019, the London Metal Exchange (LME) finalized its requirements on responsible sourcing for Brands. Starting 2023, LME Brands must be compliant with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and HighRisk Areas (OECD Guidance).

To support Brands in this effort, The Copper Mark, the International Lead Association (ILA), the International Zinc Association (IZA) and the Nickel Institute signed an agreement to develop a joint, OECD-aligned, Due Diligence Standard. Compliance of Brands with this Due Diligence Standard will be assessed using The Copper Mark’s Assurance Process.

The Due Diligence Standard will be accompanied by a joint tool helping Brands implement the LME responsible sourcing policy as well as shared training resources. The four organizations recognize that many companies produce multiple metals. With this collaboration, the commodity associations expect to significantly reduce administrative burdens, minimize costs and provide a mechanism for Brands to meet LME requirements using a single framework.

Facilitated by The Copper Mark, a working group has been established to develop the joint Due Diligence Standard. The group also includes other interested commodity associations, multimetal company representatives, along with OECD and LME. Through the working group, the commodity associations implement a clearly defined roadmap to ensure copper, lead, nickel and zinc brands will be able to rely on the shared framework to respond to the LME before June 2022.

It includes four main phases:
• Phase 1 – 2019 / early 2020: Development of the roadmap and formation of the working group.
• Phase 2 – 2020: Development of the joint Due Diligence Standard and Tool.
• Phase 3 – Early 2021: Pilot implementation of the joint Due Diligence Standard.
• Phase 4 – 2021 / early 2022: Independent third-party OECD Alignment Assessment and application for approval by LME as Track A “OECD-aligned external standard”.

The four organizations are committed to ensure meaningful participation of interested stakeholders in this process. To this end, the development of the joint Due Diligence Standard will include a public consultation period in Phase 2.

For any questions on the joint Due Diligence Standard, please contact The Copper Mark at

About the Copper Mark
The Copper Mark is an assurance framework available for the copper industry to demonstrate its responsible production practices and its contribution to the United Nations SDGs. The Copper Mark offers a comprehensive system that addresses 32 environmental, social and governance issues related to the responsible production of copper, using the Responsible Minerals Initiative’s (RMI) Risk Readiness Assessment. Developed and funded by the International Copper Association (ICA), the Copper Mark is incorporated as an independent entity headquartered in the United Kingdom.

About the International Lead Association
The International Lead Association (ILA) is the trusted global trade association for the lead industry and its member companies are at the forefront of the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead.

About the International Zinc Association
The International Zinc Association represents the zinc industry globally, to sustainably grow markets and maintain the industry’s license to operate through effectively managed initiatives in research and development, technology transfer, and communication of the value of zinc. IZA represents 36 full members and over 240 affiliate and associate members. IZA’s members reflect the whole zinc value chain from mining, production, and manufacturing to recycling. Through its sustainability program, IZA coordinates the joint contribution of the zinc sector to achieving the UN SDGs. IZA is an associate member of the Responsible Steel Standard and supporting member of the Dutch IRBC for the Metals Sector.

About the Nickel Institute
The Nickel Institute (NI) is the global association of leading primary nickel producers. Our mission is to promote and support the proper use of nickel in appropriate applications. The NI grows and supports markets for new and existing nickel applications including stainless steel, and promotes sound science, risk management, and socio-economic benefit as the basis for public policy and regulation. Through our science division NiPERA Inc., we also undertake leading-edge scientific research relevant to human health and the environment. The NI is the centre of excellence for information on nickel and nickel-containing materials and has offices in Asia, Europe and North America.

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