Tue. Apr 16th, 2024
Joint Statement of the Minerals Security Partnership

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Union following the conclusion of the Minerals Security Partnership Principals’ meeting in Toronto.

On Sunday, March 3, the partners of the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) held a principals’ meeting in Toronto during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada annual convention (PDAC), the largest mining event in the world.  The theme of the principals’ meeting was responsible investment in critical minerals, with the key objective to strengthen collaboration between the MSP and like-minded partners.  The MSP aims to accelerate the development of diverse and sustainable critical minerals supply chains through working with host governments and industry to facilitate targeted financial and diplomatic support for strategic projects along the value chain.  MSP partners strive to elevate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and labor standards across the global minerals sector.  The MSP commits to support only those projects that follow high ESG standards, promote local value addition, and uplift workers and communities, in recognition that all countries can benefit from the global clean energy transition.  Jose W. Fernandez, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment chaired the meeting.

MSP partners also held a meeting with several countries from the Western Hemisphere, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru, to discuss critical mineral supply chains, project development, and opportunities and challenges in mining, as well as in midstream and downstream processing.

The MSP welcomed Estonia as the newest MSP partner.  Estonia is an important stakeholder in the production and processing of rare earth elements and will be a valuable partner in the MSP. The MSP partners announced the establishment of the MSP Forum to formalize and expand their existing engagements with minerals producing countries, with a particular focus on advancing and accelerating individual projects with high ESG and labor standards and promoting discussion of policies that contribute to diverse and resilient supply chains.  The policy dialogue between critical minerals producing and consuming countries will focus on key policy challenges such as sustainable production and local value addition, regulatory cooperation to foster fair competition and protect workers, transparency and predictability and pricing challenges related to ESG standards.  The MSP Forum will seek to achieve a broad and balanced membership of critical minerals producing and consuming countries.

At the meeting, the MSP partners confirmed they are working to advance the following projects that have a high potential to contribute to the development of responsible critical mineral supply chains, demonstrate high ESG standards, facilitate the global energy transition, and are collaborating with relevant governmental or financial agencies of MSP partners:

  • Across the 23 MSP projects.
    • 16 projects involve upstream mining and mineral extraction, 7 involve midstream processing, and 7 involve recycling and recovery.
    • The projects cover cobalt, copper, gallium, germanium, graphite, lithium, manganese, nickel, and rare earth elements.
    • 6 project sites in the Americas, 5 project sites in Europe, 13 project sites in Africa, 3 project sites in the Asia-Pacific region.

Notable milestones were achieved for the following projects:

  • EcoGraf Epanko Graphite Project: Australian-based EcoGraf has authorized German-based KfW IPEX-Bank to arrange a senior debt facility of up to USD 105 million for the development of the Epanko Graphite Project in Tanzania.  The German government has confirmed, in principle, the eligibility of the Epanko project for the Untied Loan Guarantee (UFK) scheme, which is contingent on the support of German off-takers for the initial phase of the project, which is expected to produce 73,000 tons per year of graphite.  The loan from KfW IPEX-Bank, subject to satisfactory due diligence and credit approvals, offers favorable terms and reflects the strategic importance of the project.  EcoGraf is building a vertically integrated battery anode materials business to produce high-purity graphite products for the lithium-ion battery and advanced manufacturing markets.  EcoGraf’s commitment to high ESG standards, in compliance with the Equator Principles, has been a key factor in securing this financing.
  • Gecamines-JOGMEC MOU: This February at Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, the United States, as Chair of the MSP, and MSP partners announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between LA GENERALE DES CARRIERES ET DES MINES (GECAMINES) and the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC). This milestone collaboration, forged through dialogue among MSP partners, creates a framework for coordination in mineral exploration, production, and processing in alignment with our shared commitment to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI)’s development of the Lobito Corridor. The MOU also creates a framework for cooperation in the areas of mining and mineral resources with the intention of expanding business opportunities for the parties.

This list will be updated periodically.

In addition to the above projects, the MSP is continually assessing potential investment opportunities across all eligible markets that would support diversification of critical mineral supply chains and development of the associated infrastructure. 

The MSP remains committed to leveraging the collective financial and diplomatic resources of its 15 partners to provide support for strategic projects and project developers that exemplify the partners’ principles.  MSP partners will work together with a wide range of MSP Forum members and private sector entities to catalyze support for these projects and shape the global discussion around critical minerals supply chains. Membership in the MSP Forum will be open to partners who are ready to commit to the key MSP principles, such as transparency, good governance, and fair working conditions.

Building upon the MSP’s commitment to high ESG standards in the global minerals sector, as expressed in the Principles for Responsible Critical Minerals Supply Chains, the MSP also published an October 2023 statement co-signed with private sector financiers which confirms the parties’ intention to deepen collaboration to drive responsible investment in critical minerals projects.  Governments, project developers, and investors all have an important role to play in de-risking and financing critical minerals projects that increase global production while promoting supply chain diversification, protecting the environment, and uplifting local communities.

For press inquiries, please contact: ENR-PD-Clearances@state.gov.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-of-the-minerals-security-partnership/

originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS