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Trafigura to invest in training artisanal, small-scale cobalt miners in DRC

Trafigura Beheer BV plans to invest in a project to train, equip and organize artisanal and small-scale cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo into licensed cooperatives, Reuters reported Oct. 8.

Trafigura's plan was a response to a London Metal Exchange proposal to include responsible sourcing principles into metal brands deliverable against its contracts.

The project will be trialed at the Mutoshi mine, owned by Shalina Resources Ltd. unit Chemaf SPRL.

To ensure workers' rights are not violated at the mine, nongovernmental organization Pact and Chemaf will supervise the miners, administering drug and alcohol tests before they enter the site and making sure they are paid appropriately.

Trafigura CEO Jeremy Weir said the company is also in talks with other industry participants through the World Economic Forum's Global Battery Alliance to make the approach at the pilot project the standard that can be applied elsewhere.