OPERATIONS

Presentation

Entreprise Générale du Cobalt is currently structuring its activities around two divisions: the production and marketing divisions respectively.

The production phase covers the mining of cobalt ores by artisanal miners from artisanal mining areas, their transit to trading centers and their processing into cobalt hydroxide in local plants. This phase, which involves a large number of stakeholders, public and private players, and civil society, requires an administrative approach with the authorities involved for the conduct of business, and a contractual approach with the subcontractors in charge of operational support and of the effective implementation of the various activities on the sites, in particular by supporting the artisanal miners in their day-to-day activities and ensuring the safety of the neighboring communities.

The marketing phase consists of ensuring that the entire project value chain is operating according to RDC’s and end buyers’ expectations in terms of cobalt hydroxide’ corporate social responsibility certification, from logistics between sites, traceability of the first kilogram of ore extracted to final delivery and marketing of products to end customers. This phase calls for specific skills in transportation – from the artisanal mining areas, to the end customers on another continent – traceability through the use of world-renowned partners and blockchain and trading technologies, to reach out to buyers such as car manufacturers and producers of electronic devices and to establish stable partnerships with them.

Along with its partners, EGC is currently setting up the complete architecture of the project, whose progress will be presented in the operations section of its website.

PRODUCTION

Mining
Controlled cobalt mining will be authorized only in designated artisanal areas by artisanal miners who are members of approved cooperatives required to maintain the required controls in accordance with DRC law and OECD-approved labor and safety standards.
Trading
Trafigura is committed to providing funding to support the establishment of strictly controlled artisanal mining zones, ore purchasing stations and the costs related to the transparent and traceable delivery of cobalt hydroxide.
Processing
The processing of cobalt ore into cobalt hydroxide is carried out in local plants where bagging and relabeling into large bags takes place prior to transportation or export to final buyers and trading partners.

MARKETING

Logistics
The transportation of the cobalt ore to the purchasing station will be organized and overseen by a logistics specialist and the seller and/or the representative of the approved cooperative, from the designated artisanal zone (ZEA) to the end customer.
Traceability
Cobalt ore will be transported by porters from each pit to a satellite office managed by the cooperative administrator. Each seller will be assigned a unique barcode that will be used to track the ore throughout the process, for payment, for marking the ore bags, and for electronic data collection.
Laboratories
Cobalt ore purchased from artisanal miners will undergo quality control and several tests before being sampled for moisture content, weight, and cobalt content. The same will be done on the final commercial product, the cobalt hydroxide from the processing plant, prior to sale.
Sale
Payment to each cobalt ore seller will be made electronically including all taxes prior to shipment to processing plants. Thereafter treatment, cobalt hydroxide will delivered to the final buyers, which are automobile or electronic device manufacturers.