BHP has confirmed its Escondida and Spence operations in Chile, along with its Olympic Dam asset in Australia, have earned the Copper Mark distinction for their respective responsible copper production practices.
The mines, which were awarded following an independent assurance process, were first entered for recognition on 31 October 2020 via letters of commitment from BHP.
The Copper Mark was awarded to Olympic Dam on 21 September 2021; Spence and Escondida were each awarded theirs on 2 November.
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.
Programme involvement is voluntary, and the independent assessment each received includes 32 critical areas including environment, community, human rights and governance issues for mining, smelting and refining operations.
“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 group sales and marketing officer Michiel Hovers said.
BHP 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.
“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.”
Copper Mark award and final summary reports can be found at https://coppermark.org/participants-home/participants/.