SMM10, March 22: LG Chemical said Monday that LG Chemical has become the first electric car (EV) battery manufacturer in South Korea to join (RMI), a responsible mining program, to improve the sustainability of the supply chain.
Founded in 2008, RMI is a global consulting group that helps companies in various industries solve responsible mineral procurement problems in their supply chains.
The group's website says it has provided information and resources to more than 380 member companies "to make procurement decisions, improve regulatory compliance and support responsible procurement of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas".
As a member of RMI and a leading manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries and chemicals in the industry, LG Chemistry will receive a variety of information about cobalt, tungsten and other minerals, often from conflict-affected and high-risk areas as well as from places of origin.
The South Korean company will also be able to establish a mutual assistance system with global companies to address social and environmental issues related to its supply chain.
Shen Haazhe, chief executive and vice chairman of LG Chemistry, said: "the core competitiveness of the company comes from sustainable development." LG Chemical has a transparent supply chain and is critical to addressing environmental and human rights issues.
As responsible raw material suppliers become more interested in the global market, LG Chemical added sustainability to the evaluation project for raw material suppliers in August.
The European Union predicts that Europe's transition to electric vehicles will double demand for cobalt over the next decade. However, since cobalt is mainly produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and China, pre-emptive action must be taken to address the foreseeable imbalance between supply and demand.
At the same time, the increase in global demand for cobalt has also raised concerns about child labour and mining-related pollution. Ensuring social responsibility in the cobalt mining supply chain is also the focus of European mainframe and battery plants.
Currently, about 2/3 of the world's cobalt supply comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with at least 20 per cent of the cobalt mined by locals such as children and the rest produced by industrial mines. The employment of child labour in mining has often attracted the attention of international human rights organizations in the past.
The move has benefited local mining companies and backward supplies of cathode materials for power batteries, but it is not conducive to the stability and sustainability of the global supply of cobalt, as well as blaming the power batteries used by mainframe plants such as BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
It is clear that LG Chemistry joined RMI on the one hand to ensure a stable supply of cobalt raw materials, on the other hand, to ensure that its source of cobalt supply does not violate the mainstream European moral values and avoid affecting the development of its European power battery market.
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