The Mutoshi Pilot Project has yielded social and economic benefits for the diggers themselves, as well as their families and communities. 

Mutoshi Pilot Project




December, 2020: Trafigura update on the Mutoshi ASM Formalisation Pilot Project

In response to the threat of the COVID-19 virus, and with a view to safeguarding the health of workers onsite and their surrounding communities, in March 2020 operations at the Mutoshi Pilot Project were suspended by Chemaf until further notice. 

Project partners continued to monitor the site over the course of the year and have maintained an active presence on the ground. Pact and Trafigura also collaborated in an innovative COVID-19 relief project which, beyond delivering a health awareness campaign, supported alternative revenue generation within the Mutoshi community over this challenging time (click here for further details).  

Having reviewed the project over the course of 2020 and engaged on various options for the future, in October the partners agreed to conclude the Pilot. After nearly two years of intensive engagement and support, Trafigura and Pact will be withdrawing their involvement on December 31st, 2020. This decision, in part, reflects the fact that, by law, all ASM cobalt production must be marketed through Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC). 

The Mutoshi semi-mechanized pilot project has been widely recognised as a viable model for the responsible sourcing of ASM cobalt from the DRC. While all partners are aligned in the view that the Pilot project has proven a success, Chemaf is focussed on developing the Mutoshi concession for mechanical mining purposes only.

Trafigura will continue to engage in support of formalising ASM wherever it contributes, or is linked to, our purchasing activities – whether at Chemaf’s operations or elsewhere. While the need for constructive dialogue between concession holders, their buyers and the ASM community remains, it is our view that the concession holder should always lead and oversee such interventions. The Pilot project has demonstrated that where leadership is taken by companies such as Chemaf, and where alignment is achieved between constituent parts of the value chain, the benefits are both significant and broadly shared.

The decision to wind-down Trafigura’s involvement in the Mutoshi Pilot Project will not diminish our support for Chemaf in developing its responsible sourcing programme or wider commercial interests. For further details of how that support progressed in 2020, please click here

Continued commitment

Further to Trafigura’s commercial support, Trafigura’s Foundation remains committed, until mid-2021, to working with Pact in the surrounding community to reduce child labour in mining by strengthening local child protection institutions, enhancing economic opportunities for adult family members within and outside the mining sector, and providing vocational opportunities to adolescents dependent on mining income (click here for further details).

Trafigura presents its work with EGC to the 2021 Antaike Battery Metals Conference
Trafigura presents its work with EGC to the 2021 Antaike Battery Metals Conference

Trafigura presents its work with EGC to the 2021 Antaike Battery Metals Conference