Leading diversified natural resources major Eurasian Resources Group recently published its 2019 Sustainable Development Report on the theme ‘Building A Sustainable Business’. The report delineates the Group’s key accomplishments, as well as outlining sustainable development performance implemented to maintain long-term stakeholder value.
In 2019, Eurasian Resources Group celebrated the 5th anniversary of its head office in Luxembourg, as well as 25 years of its operations in Kazakhstan. Key milestones and highlights of 2019 included:
- Adoption of a group-wide Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure a responsible supply chain, as well as implementation and assurance at Metalkol RTR of ERG’s Clean Cobalt Framework. Eurasian Resources Group also pledged ongoing support to the Global Battery Alliance and partnered with the World Economic Forum and six other leading mining and metals companies to help establish the Metals and Mining Blockchain Initiative.
- Implementation of operational improvements in Kazakhstan that saved Eurasian Resources Group approximately $68 million. The Group commissioned major renovations at the Aksu Ferroalloys Plant in Kazakhstan and established the dedicated ERG Recycling and ERG Capital Projects companies.
- Joining the United Nations Global Compact.
- Implementing a new environmental strategy at the Group’s Kazakhstan operations, including the advancement of ERG’s $350 million programme to further reduce particulate emissions to the air.
- Initiating Phase II of Metalkol RTR, its key operation to reprocess the historic copper and cobalt tailings in the DRC.
- Tackling child labour in the mining industry by collaborating on the ‘Children Out of Mining – Northern Kolwezi’ project Pact. The Group also partnered with the Good Shepherd International Foundation to build a Child Protection Centre in Kolwezi.
- Shaping environmental innovation and benefitting local communities in Kazakhstan via the Group’s ground-breaking regional development programme.
- Partnering with the Digital Ventures Fund.
Reflecting on the Group’s 2019 Report, Eurasian Resources Group CEO Benedikt Sobotka explained that in the previous year, the Group continued to focus on its 2025 Strategy goals, prioritising organisational transformation, digital technology, stakeholder expectations, and enhancement of its financial position. Mr Sobotka said that Eurasian Resources Group’s key priorities are to ensure the health and safety of its people and building on efforts to increase financial and operational resilience, both vital objectives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Group’s Anti-Crisis Control Centre will oversee COVID-19 efforts as part of the organisation’s corporate mission. Mr Sobotka pointed out that the Group had continually committed resources to fighting COVID-19 throughout 2020, for example pledging more than $10 million in Kazakhstan to fund the establishment of a national foundation that aims to reduce the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and committing $230,000 towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nur-Sultan alone.
As part of its commitment to achieving Zero Harm, Eurasian Resources Group has completed comprehensive audits of its Kazakhstan operations. In addition, Eurasian Resources Group has reinforced health, safety, and sustainability management systems at its African operations. In Brazil, the company continued to implement new training programmes for high-risk activities at BAMIN.
Through its Kazakhstan assets, Metalkol RTR and BAMIN in Brazil, Eurasian Resources Group is poised to play a vital role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Group is also well-placed to capitalise on growth opportunities in the COVID-19 pandemic’s aftermath. In the face of challenges and uncertainty, Eurasian Resources Group strengthened its financial position, mainly through credit line expansion and debt refinancing.
Metalkol RTR started to sell cobalt hydroxide to prominent refineries in China and is currently on course to become one of the world’s largest cobalt producers.
In Kazakhstan, Eurasian Resources Group renovated Workshop No. 6 at the Aksu Ferroalloys Plant, commissioning furnace No. 64 to reduce energy consumption, improve productivity, and reduce air emissions.
The full Eurasian Resources Group Sustainable Development Report 2019 can be read here.