Press release | Oct. 8, 2018

Global Witness statement for London Metal Exchange responsible sourcing seminar 2018

Global Witness welcomes the LME’s recognition of the need for responsible sourcing but warns that proposals outlined in its October 2018 Position Paper will be ineffective in their current form. 

Campaign Leader Sophia Pickles said:

“Used by some of the world’s largest metal producers and traders, and trading metal brands from over 60 countries worldwide, the LME has the power to change business behaviour where responsible metal trading is concerned - and not before time.”

“The LME claims it seeks consistency with the internationally recognised OECD Guidance but the measures laid out in this proposal fail to meet that standard on multiple fronts. Crucially, all companies, no matter what they source or from where, must report publicly on their supply chain due diligence efforts annually in order to meet OECD recommendations and provide proper assurances to the market. In its current iteration, the LME proposal fails to clearly require all producers of its listed brands to do this consistently and publicly.”

“Requiring companies to simply join an industry scheme or undergo an audit is inadequate. An OECD study released in April 2018 supported by Global Witness found significant weaknesses in audit practises and made clear that even where industry schemes are OECD-aligned, there is no guarantee that member companies are undertaking adequate supply chain checks. Industry schemes and audits are not a substitute for public reporting: a company must know and show its individual efforts to source minerals fairly and without contributing to harms.”

“As currently laid out, the LME suggestion to undertake additional due diligence on discounted cobalt brands risks creating serious unintended consequences and should be re-thought. This is a blunt mechanism that risks penalising artisanal supply and overlooking serious red flags in non-discounted metal supply chains. Increased due diligence should be triggered by evidence-led scrutiny and not by price alone.”

Global Witness will issue detailed comment on the LME Position Paper.