Tag Archives: Copper Mark

Escondida, Spence and Olympic Dam production practices recognised with Copper Mark

BHP’s Chilean operations Escondida and Spence, and Olympic Dam in Australia, have been awarded the Copper Mark, recognising responsible production practices after an independent assurance process, the miner says.

The Copper Mark is an assurance framework specific to the copper industry, developed to ensure value chain participants demonstrate best practice in responsible production and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Copper Mark is a voluntary program that independently assesses participants in 32 critical areas including environment, community, human rights and governance issues for mining, smelting and refining operations.

The Copper Mark uses the Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA) of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) and the Joint Due Diligence Standard for Copper, Lead, Nickel and Zinc, as the basis for evaluating participants’ performance.

BHP submitted Letters of Commitment for Escondida (pictured), Spence and Olympic Dam to the Copper Mark Responsible Production Framework on October 31, 2020. The Copper Mark was awarded to Olympic Dam on September 21, 2021, while Spence and Escondida were each awarded theirs on November 2, 2021.

BHP’s Group Sales and Marketing Officer, Michiel Hovers, said: “Long-term sustainability credentials are important to our customers and increasingly important to end consumers of copper products, such as buyers of electric vehicles and copper intensive consumer durables.”

BHP’s Mineral Americas President, Rag Udd, added: “Copper Mark is a step forward in developing an industry-wide approach to transparency and standards for the copper value chain and reinforces the value BHP places on responsible, sustainable production.

“Copper is a future-facing commodity and our operations have an important role to play in providing high quality and sustainable copper that is essential to the energy transition. Escondida, the largest copper producer in the world, operates 100% with desalinated water and, along with Spence, is aiming to achieve 100% renewable power by the mid-2020s.

“It is important to our customers, investors, employees, communities and governments to ascertain the ethical and sustainable production of copper along the value chain.”

BHP Olympic Dam Asset President, Jennifer Purdie, said the team was thrilled that Olympic Dam has become the first site in Australia to be awarded the Copper Mark.

“Olympic Dam is a multi-generational orebody and one of the world’s most significant deposits of copper, gold, silver and uranium,” she said. “The Copper Mark accreditation provides an industry-wide approach to transparency and sustainability in the copper value chain and provides our customers with confidence in the copper they purchase. Award of the Copper Mark will help us to keep sustainably delivering jobs, investment and economic and social value.”.

The Copper Mark’s Executive Director, Michèle Brülhart, said: “We are delighted to welcome Escondida, Spence and Olympic Dam among the recipients of the Copper Mark. We are particularly pleased to see the first Australian site to receive the Copper Mark with Olympic Dam while we continue to grow our footprint in the world’s main copper producing country, Chile. We congratulate the three sites for their achievement and their commitment to responsible production practices.”

Teck Resources’ Highland Valley operation to join the Copper Mark

Teck Resources says it has committed to the Copper Mark, a voluntary assurance framework to promote responsible production practices and demonstrate the industry’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with its Highland Valley Copper Operations, in British Columbia, Canada, becoming its first copper operation to sign up to the framework.

“Copper is critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy and we have outlined near-term plans and future opportunities for significant copper production growth in the years ahead, and we are focused on being a responsible producer of this essential metal,” Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck, said. “Our participation in the Copper Mark is another way we’re enhancing transparency and ensuring customers have the information they need on our performance as a responsible copper producer.”

Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director of the Copper Mark, said: “Copper has a critical role to play in the green transition as a vital material in clean energy technologies. The Copper Mark sets out a framework to verify that copper producers operate responsibly while contributing to the development of the low-carbon economy.”

To achieve the Copper Mark, Teck’s Highland Valley Copper operations will be assessed and independently verified against 32 responsible production criteria this year. Teck currently plans for its Carmen de Andacollo operations in Chile and the QB2 project in Chile, which is expected to begin production in the second half of 2022, to begin the Copper Mark assurance process in 2023.

In August, the Copper Mark announced that two of KGHM Polska Miedź SA’s operations – Glogów and Legnica (both in Poland) – had also joined the framework.

Centinela becomes first Antofagasta mine to gain Copper Mark credentials

Centinela, in Chile, has become the first of the Antofagasta’s mines to obtain the international Copper Mark, an assurance framework that certifies the company operates under strict internationally recognised sustainable production standards, the copper miner says.

Zaldívar (owned 50:50 by Antofagasta and Barrick Gold) expects to obtain the Copper Mark next month and the group’s other two mining operations, Los Pelambres and Antucoya, will shortly begin their own certification processes, Antofagasta said.

Iván Arriagada, Chief Executive Officer of Antofagasta plc, said: “The importance of obtaining this certification lies in Antofagasta’s commitment to modern and sustainable mining, which transparently incorporates the best practices of the global mining industry.”

Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Copper Mark takes a comprehensive approach to sustainability and includes the verification of activities at the sites where copper is produced, the miner said. To this end, it requires compliance with 32 criteria in five categories: business and human rights, community, labour and working conditions, environment and governance.

Copper Mark follows up its original certification with a further review within one year, and then every three years thereafter to certify ongoing compliance with the criteria. In this way, Copper Mark offers workers, investors, copper end-users and communities a simple and credible way to verify sustainable practices, the company said.

Carlos Espinoza, General Manager of Centinela, said: “After a rigorous process, involving self-assessment and an independent audit, we are very proud to be the first mining operation in the company to obtain the Copper Mark, which certifies that our operating and other processes are carried out in accordance with the best sustainability practices in the industry.”

BHP commits Escondida, Spence and Olympic Dam ops to reaching Copper Mark

BHP has issued a Letter of Commitment to the Copper Mark Responsible Production Framework that will see its Escondida and Spence operations in Chile, plus its Olympic Dam mine in Australia, fall in line with the voluntary program.

The Copper Mark is a credible assurance framework to demonstrate the copper industry’s responsible production practices and contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, BHP said. The program is designed to hold the copper industry accountable to responsible practices in critical areas including environment, community, human rights and governance issues, according to BHP Group Sales and Marketing Officer, Michiel Hovers.

“We know that our long-term sustainability credentials are important to our customers and increasingly important to end consumers of copper products, such as buyers of electric vehicles and copper intensive consumer durables,” Hovers said. “The Copper Mark accreditation is an important step in developing an industry-wide approach to transparency and standards for the copper value chain.”

This year, the Oyu Tolgoi mine, in Mongolia, and the Kennecott operation, in the US, were both awarded the Copper Mark. Freeport McMoRan has also pledged to fall in line with the program at six of its operations.

Hovers added: “The Copper Mark is an independent and credible certification, and will further reinforce the value responsible production of the copper products that we sell to our customers.”

BHP has set targets to reduce its emissions by 30% by 2030, along with a goal of net zero emissions by 2050, Hovers said. In Chile, at Escondida, the company is also aiming to operate using 100% renewable power and 100% desalinated water.

“We know that copper is essential to the energy transition, but equally important to our customers, our investors, our employees, our communities, and our stakeholders across the copper value chain is ethical and sustainable production of copper – where production is in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals,” Hovers said.

BHP’s operated copper assets involved in this transition – Escondida, Spence and Olympic Dam – represented 1.5 Mt of copper production in the miner’s 2020 financial year.

Oyu Tolgoi hits the Copper Mark

Turquoise Hill Resources says the operator of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia has been awarded the Copper Mark, the copper industry’s new independently assessed responsible production program.

The Copper Mark is the first and only program for responsible production in the copper industry. Originally developed by the International Copper Association with inputs from a broad range of stakeholders including customers, NGOs and producers, the Copper Mark is now an independent entity with a multi-stakeholder council.

In August, Rio Tinto’s Kennecott site in the US became the first producer to be awarded the Copper Mark.

Oyu Tolgoi LLC met over 30 criteria for responsible environmental, social and governance (ESG) operating practices to hit the copper mark, Turquoise Hill said.

“At Turquoise Hill, we are fully committed to responsible production and transparency at Oyu Tolgoi,” Ulf Quellmann, Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill Resources, the 66% owner of Oyu Tolgoi, said. “We congratulate Oyu Tulgoi on this prestigious award, which demonstrates our dedication to protecting the environment and safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of all workers and the local community. We are proud to be part of an operation that is leading the industry in ESG standards and contributing to the sustainable, long-term socio-economic development of Mongolia.”

Since 2010, Oyu Tolgoi has been developing a health, safety and environmental management system in compliance with IOS 14001 Environmental and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety management standards. In 2013, Oyu Tolgoi was independently audited and received certification on these standards, Turquoise Hill said. As part of this program, Oyu Tolgoi has made a series of commitments about the way it operates, how it contributes to Mongolia’s society and economy, and how it manages environmental impacts, supporting the long-term development of Mongolia and sustainable supply chains.