ERG’s Metalkol in Africa achieves ISO 9001:2015 certification for copper and cobalt hydroxide production


The certification further cements Metalkol’s position as a world-class supplier of copper and cobalt to support the green energy transition.

ISO 9001 is globally recognised as the most comprehensive quality management system (QMS), and Metalkol’s ISO 9001:2015 certification is based on evaluation against global industry excellence standards set out by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Metalkol’s newly awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification encompasses various processes of its copper cathode and cobalt hydroxide production, including copper solvent extraction, copper tank-house operations and packaging, as well as its cobalt hydroxide purification, precipitation, drying, and packaging.

The certification assessment looked at three categories of processes which directly influence the quality of Metalkol’s copper cathode and cobalt hydroxide:

  • the main processes that enhance copper and cobalt processing, the plant and dispatch;
  • support processes that improve supply chain activities, laboratory analytical services, engineering, and human resources; and
  • managerial processes that optimise internal audits, reviews, and corrective actions.

The implementation of ISO 9001:2015 at Metalkol is a culmination of a three-year long journey comprising personnel training, developing quality manuals, and implementing standard operating procedures, analytical methods and work instructions.

Congratulating the team, Mr Sergei Verbitckii, ERG Africa’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are extremely proud of Metalkol for achieving a further certification that underpins our commitment to producing high-quality, responsibly sourced and produced cobalt and copper. Thanks to the rigorous management systems and procedures Metalkol has in place, companies buying our cobalt and copper, and the consumers who purchase products that contain them, can be confident that they have been produced in accordance with recognised international standards.”

As part of achieving the ISO 9001:2015 certification, Metalkol transitioned its laboratory operations from a service provider, and in the process, employing and upskilling additional people to conduct analytical services inhouse.

To further enhance governance in the future, Metalkol has already scoped an environmental management standard and has conducted auditor training – reflecting its commitment to quality and sustainability initiatives.

As concerns about the provenance and production of battery metals gains increasing attention, Metalkol is an industry leader, showcasing that copper and cobalt can be responsibly and sustainably produced in the DRC.

In 2019, ERG introduced its Clean Cobalt Framework at Metalkol, which was extended to include copper in 2021. The Clean Cobalt and Copper Framework – last audited and assured by independent auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2023 – implements the globally recognised supply chain guidance of the OECD, but also goes further to deliver high levels of responsible cobalt and copper production, value chain assurance, and improved living conditions for local communities.

In addition – in September last year – the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) confirmed that the cobalt and copper produced by Metalkol is compliant with the RMI’s Responsible Sourcing requirements. This followed an independent assessment as part of RMI’s flagship programme, the Responsible Mineral Assurance Process (RMAP).

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