The London Metal Exchange will start requiring that copper producers which source metal from the Democratic Republic of Congo carry out independent audits to prove their material is ethically sourced, according to people familiar with the matter.
The LME is reviewing its requirements to ensure that no metal traded on the bourse has links to child labor, conflict or corruption. Copper producers that buy from Congo will be categorized as higher-risk suppliers alongside manufacturers of tin and cobalt, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the changes have not been made public.
The designation will mean copper producers could be removed from the LME’s list of deliverable brands unless a third-party auditor signs off on their sourcing standards, the people said.
The new rules will require producers to show they’re not buying metal from suppliers linked to human-rights abuses, money laundering and bribery.
The LME is in the process of making revisions to its plans following feedback from industry associations, a spokeswoman for the bourse said. It will publish a position paper on the subject in the coming weeks and will invite further input from the wider market, she said.
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