Responsible production and sourcing of minerals and metals

Mining and Metals

Natural mineral resources provide excellent commercial opportunities for investors, hold great potential for supporting development in some of the world’s poorest countries and are central to the transition to a green economy.

However, the mining and metals sector can also be linked to conflict, human rights abuses, hazardous working conditions, environmental degradation, and other adverse impacts. Influential stakeholders, including downstream purchasers, investors, regulators, and civil society organisations, need confidence that minerals and metals are produced responsibly.

Kumi has an established reputation as a leading advisor on the responsible production and sourcing of minerals and metals. Our services support clients at all stages of the mining and metals supply chain by delivering effective risk management, performance improvement, commercial opportunities, and positive socio-economic outcomes.

Assess risks

We support businesses operating in the mining and metals sector to assess risks, understand impacts and review the maturity of their responsible business practices. We do this by using our extensive ‘boots on the ground’ experience of delivering due diligence assessments of mining operations, processors and exporters, traders and smelters and refiners. The due diligence we deliver covers a wide range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Our approach is thorough but also pragmatic. Our reporting is clear and tailored to meet the needs of your business and as required, your stakeholders.

  • We help downstream purchasers of metals and minerals understand how a supplier is impacted by, or may contribute to, human rights or wider social and environmental risks. Where risks are identified we determine what mitigation actions may be required.
  • We deliver supplier due diligence assessments for smelters or refiners against the requirements of industry standards or good practice frameworks as part of the implementation of their own responsible sourcing management systems.
  • We help investors or financiers to understand potential human rights impacts or broader social and environmental risks that may be associated with a merger and acquisition or a financial transaction.
  • We enable mining companies to understand their exposure to human rights or wider social and environmental risks through their procurement activities.

Build management systems

We help companies producing and sourcing metals and minerals to build management systems to become more responsible producers, strengthening their ‘social license’ to operate and their access to customer markets and investment finance. The systems we build are rooted in international best practices, such as the OECD due diligence guidance, helping mining companies to comply with regulatory requirements and strengthen relationships with customers and investors.

  • We benchmark management systems and operating practices for mining companies and purchasers of metals and minerals against the requirements of compliance frameworks or responsible mining standards through our Responsible Sourcing Diagnostic and Maturity Model to assess current performance and prioritise next steps.
  • We design and implement management systems for responsible business conduct and supply chain due diligence. This includes writing policies and procedures, developing risk assessment and risk management processes, identifying risks when onboarding suppliers and reporting to support compliance with due diligence requirements such as the German Supply Chain Act and the forthcoming EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.
  • We help mining companies, smelters or refiners to prepare for and successfully pass audits against industry standards or assurance frameworks, including support in addressing corrective actions from previous audits.
  • We support mining companies and purchasers in implementing blockchain-based, traceability solutions and build supplier management platforms with our technology partners to support due diligence activities.
Mining machinery in quarry, being observed by a worker in safety gear.

Enhance Capability and Impact icon in white Enhance capability and impact

Informed by our work with the OECD, we support policymakers and industry bodies to establish and strengthen market and regulatory requirements for responsible sourcing. We help to support the continuous improvement of responsible sourcing initiatives and work with stakeholders to create positive impact.

  • We draw on our unique experience of working with the OECD, the European Commission, and the London Metals Exchange to deliver alignment assessments of metals and minerals industry programmes.
  • We support mining companies in establishing and strengthening their social performance and community engagement programmes. This includes developing policies, strategies and management procedures for social performance, and building capacity for social performance professionals.
  • We deliver strategic advice to industry bodies on how they support their member companies to address responsible sourcing challenges, and provide capacity building to member companies and auditors on responsible sourcing and due diligence best practices.
  • We support constructive engagement and collaboration between industrial and artisanal and small scale miners (ASM).

Case studies

“Working with Kumi provided us with valuable context and opportunities to broaden our understanding of the complexities surrounding conflict minerals in the semiconductor industry. Our partnership has helped us have more effective conversations with both companies and fellow investors, in a collaborative drive for more transparent supply chains free from social and environmental abuses.”

Christopher McGoldrick, Senior Investment Analyst, Stewart Investors

“Kumi team are pragmatic, logical and no-nonsense. They understand complex supply chains and deliver difficult topics with lucidity and sensitivity. Refreshing to deal with this calibre of consultant, no management speak, deliver what they say they will, on-time and with a smile!”

Emma Tooley, ESG Supply Chain, Emirates Global Aluminium

Metal grid with small holes

“Kumi rightly deserve their reputation as leading experts on the practical application of the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines by companies and policymakers.”

Guus Houttuin, former Senior Trade Advisor to the European External Action Service and former Chair of the OECD Multi-stakeholder Steering Group on responsible minerals

“Kumi’s assessment of our current status against the requirements of the Copper Mark was very helpful in enabling us to understand where we need to prioritise our efforts as we work towards achieving certification against this important standard. The Kumi team were a pleasure to work with.”

Jasmine Abrahams, Vice President, Sustainability, Ivanhoe Mines

“The due diligence Kumi delivered was comprehensive, the findings clearly presented, and the recommendations led to practical risk mitigation measures with our supplier.”

Sergio Marini, Director Ethics and Compliance, LVMH

“Kumi evaluated our responsible sourcing program against the OECD guidelines and provided a clear gap assessment with actionable recommendations on how to improve. They quickly grasped our operational and sustainability context, which made it easy to communicate and work with them.”

Sustainability Unit, OneMed

A few blue facemasks scattered out

“Kumi Consulting developed an assessment framework for the Maturity Assessment Tool of the International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector that is objective, practicable and of a sound quality. The framework will assist companies in understanding what is expected from them in the OECD Guidelines.”

Independent Secretariat of the International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector, Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands

Large piles of copper sheets

“Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. Kumi has provided Trafigura, as well as its commercial partners, with strategic guidance, technical advice and practical support – often working within challenging environments and always in support of a demanding client.”

James Nicholson, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Trafigura

Mining carts on the track in an underground tunnel

“Kumi advised us on how to address non-conformances identified during an RMAP audit, providing very clear guidance on how to update and strengthen our company’s responsible sourcing management system and due diligence processes.”

Jamie Beliño, Compliance Officer, Al Etihad Gold DMCC

Stack of gold bars