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ESG and the LME

ESG and the LME

Earlier this month our team were keeping an eye on discussions at LME Week in London. ESG has played an increasingly prominent role in the conference since the LME launched new sustainability requirements for products being traded on the world’s largest base metals exchange.

At this year’s event, the LME took the opportunity to announce further collaboration to strengthen the ESG metrics included on its “LMEpassport” system – a digital register of provenance information for traded metals.

Even for metals producers not trading on the LME, the exchange is a bellwether for trends in the sector, not least on ESG. So the expansion of the LMEpassport sustainability capacity, and the news that more than 50% of LME-listed brands are now sharing sustainability credentials on the platform is further proof of the uptrend in ESG reporting and disclosure in the mining and metals sector.

As an interesting aside, the conference also saw further debate on the EU's proposed Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), which could enable certain critical minerals developments to be named as strategic projects to streamline permitting for new mines to 24 months and new processing facilities to just 12. This fast-track procedure "will be the most tangible result of the act", Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, head of the European Commission's Internal Market and Industry directorate, told the conference. But some EU member states are pushing back on the proposal.

For Australian critical minerals projects, progress of this part of the EU’s CRMA will be watched keenly due to the precedent it may set for similar discussions around streamlining projects in Australia. The broader act will also be closely followed here for its implication for Australia’s emerging critical minerals export sector, which is aiming to position itself as a sustainable and secure supply chain partner for the EU.

Learn more in our guidance note.