What is the Extended Minerals Reporting Template (EMRT)?
The Extended Minerals Reporting Template (EMRT) is a free, standardized template developed by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) that facilitates the exchange of cobalt and mica supply chain data. The EMRT is the result of a consolidation of the Cobalt Reporting Template (CRT) and Mica Reporting Template (MRT). It was designed in accordance with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance.
Continue reading to learn more about the EMRT and to access the latest template version—the EMRT 1.2.
What is the purpose of the EMRT?
The EMRT aims to provide downstream companies with a template for gathering and disclosing information about their supply chains to mitigate risk. Per the RMI, downstream companies are considered companies from the end user up to, but not including, the refiner or processor. The EMRT guides downstream companies throughout the due diligence process, which includes:
- Determining the mineral country of origin
- Identifying utilized refiners and processors
- Simplifying downstream suppliers’ surveys
- Identifying and mitigating risk
- Disclosing reporting results to upstream stakeholders
To collect this information, the EMRT provides a questionnaire for downstream companies to send to their supply chain partners. Questions include the following:
- Is cobalt or mica used in the production process?
- Does the final product contain cobalt or mica?
- Are refiners or processors sourcing from CAHRAs?
- Is cobalt or mica sourced from recycled or scrapped items in the product/production process?
Additionally, the EMRT includes a list of identified cobalt refiners and mica processors (and aliases) that organizations can compare against their own.
Download the EMRT 1.11
In May of 2023, the RMI released the latest version of the EMRT – the EMRT 1.2. The changes in the new version include corrections to all bugs and errors and updates to the Smelter Reference List and Standard Smelter List.
EMRT vs. CMRT - What is the difference?
The main difference between the EMRT and the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) is the minerals that fall within the scope of each template. While the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU) have compliance requirements for sourcing conflict minerals, otherwise known as 3TG (tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold), mica and cobalt are considered extended minerals and are not subject to compliance requirements.
Conflict minerals are subject to compliance under the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act (which applies to 3TG originating from the DRC and adjoining countries) and the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (which applies to EU-based importers of 3TG from CAHRAs). The CMRT is used to collect refiner and processor information to fulfill regulatory 3TG reporting requirements.
Alternatively, the EMRT is a voluntary initiative that allows downstream companies to disclose their cobalt and mica sourcing due diligence efforts in their annual reports and/or on their website. Rather than a requirement, it currently serves as an aid to due diligence and identifying utilized smelters and refiners of cobalt and mica.
The issues with cobalt and mica mining
Cobalt is an essential element in electronics and is primarily used in lithium-ion batteries. It is also a significant component in superalloy metals, magnetic materials, anticorrosive materials, and cemented carbide. Mica is a mineral used in paints, automobile parts, shingles, electronics, and cosmetic items.
However, with a growing demand for cobalt and mica comes major concerns regarding where and how they are sourced. Cobalt and mica are mined in conflict-affected areas, contributing to unethical sourcing issues.
Cobalt sourcing issues
Cobalt is mostly produced as a by-product from large-scale copper and nickel mines. Cobalt is mined throughout the world, but the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the largest producer, accounting for more than 70% of global production. In its report Making Mining Safe and Fair: Artisanal Cobalt Extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Economic Forum estimates that 15-30% of cobalt is mined from artisanal or small-scale mines.
Unfortunately, cobalt sourcing is associated with armed conflict and human rights abuses that are commonplace throughout the DRC. In these small-scale mines, extraction techniques are often manual, which creates dangerous working conditions. The profits from mining cobalt are often used to fund armed groups and continue the cycle of violence.
Mica sourcing issues
Ethically sourcing mica is no less of a challenge. Mica is mined in more than 35 countries, with India and Madagascar being the two largest sources, followed by China and Brazil. Mica mining is associated with labor abuses and unsafe working conditions, especially among women and children. As demand for mica continues to increase, production intensifies, leading to even less regard for the welfare of workers. Daily, miners face danger and health hazards - sometimes suffering from life-threatening injuries.
Source Intelligence's Responsible Sourcing Programs
It is critical to conduct due diligence on unregulated materials. While there are no governmental regulations currently in place for cobalt and mica, there are many developments in the works to hold businesses accountable for social responsibility via environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators. Traceability is the only avenue to supply chain transparency.
Source Intelligence’s conflict minerals program covers extended and unregulated minerals in addition to conflict minerals. We go beyond official compliance programs by offering solutions for responsible sourcing to provide the data you need for supply chain transparency and risk management. We help facilitate collaboration with your suppliers, including engagement, data validation, and reporting.
Mitigate the risk of human rights issues lurking in your supply chain. Connect with our compliance experts to learn how Source Intelligence can help.