March 10, 2021

Ruth Crowell at Women in PGMs Sustainability Roundtable

Ruth Crowell, Chief Executive

I recently spoke at a thought-provoking Sustainability Roundtable Event excellently moderated by Women in PGMs (WIPGMs). Representing the LBMA, I rarely find myself on a panel of senior mining leaders, particularly from within the platinum group metals (PGM) industry. It was a refreshing change of perspective, moving from discussions with banks and other downstream actors, to upstream challenges at the mine sites themselves. Our keynote speaker Thabisile Phumo of Sibanye-Stillwater spoke of the ESG challenges of working with the local community and how their fundamental approach was to “do no harm”. Her speech and the subsequent producer panellists really brought to life how mining companies are working with real communities, governments, and civil society to meaningly address ESG issues. It struck me that the LBMA can learn a lot from the LPPM and PGM industry as how to work with mining companies in an effective, collaborative way.

Over the last twelve months, the LPPM has successfully implemented its own Responsible Sourcing programme. To implement a voluntary Responsible Sourcing audit programme across a global industry is a significant achievement. To do so during a global pandemic is an incredible feat. Many congratulations to the LPPM and the PGM industry on this important accomplishment. The presence of so many mining companies on the LPPM’s Good Delivery List gives a good opportunity to improve communication and collaboration between the London Market and the mines themselves. Through our standards, the LPPM and LBMA can help miners communicate to the downstream their work and need for stakeholder support to the downstream market. Educating the downstream and the ultimate consumer on which mandatory standards could create a ‘force for good’ on the ground. A better understanding of what questions a consumer can ask to drive positive change would help not only the global industry, but the local communities themselves.

The discussions during the roundtable and the lively breakout rooms sparked opportunities for cross-industry collaboration and support. We discussed ways to make communication and auditing more effective and efficient, but most importantly how to support the important efforts that Sibanye and other miners are doing on the ground to reach sustainability goals. The London market can help communicate to the downstream consumers what actions are needed not only to ‘do no harm’ on mine sites, but ideally become a force for good.

I look forward to working with the LPPM and PGM Producers as to how we can continue this dialogue and to work to communicate needs at the mine site to the downstream consumer. At the request of some mining companies who are also listed on the London Metal Exchange, I’ve also reached out to see where we can create further synergies with base metals. I’m grateful to the WiPGMs not only for an excellent discussion, but also for driving this important work forward.

Ruth Crowell
LBMA Chief Executive