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Ensuring Responsible Cobalt

CIRAF, the Cobalt Industry Responsible Assessment Framework, is the industry-wide risk management tool that helps cobalt supply chain players identify production- and sourcing-related risks.

Best practices in responsible and sustainable production is not a new concept. In fact, many large-scale mining companies have been actively working to address issues relating to occupational health & safety and the environment since the early 1990s.

CIRAF builds on this legacy. By consolidating the many activities underway across the cobalt supply chain, CIRAF enables participants – and the cobalt value chain in general – to enhance their commitment to risk management and reporting. CIRAF is not a standard or certification scheme but a management tool that enables participants to prove they are aligned with global best practices in responsible production and sourcing by implementing key state-of-the-art responsible sourcing and production standards.






CIRAF is designed for all companies, whether or not they are producing and/or sourcing from high-risk countries. When applied at a global level, CIRAF empowers participating companies to respond to and manage any issue relating to responsible production and sourcing:


Risk Category

Risk Area


Air/water/soil environmental impacts


Occupational Health & Safety (OHS)

OHS and working conditions

Human Rights

Conflict and financial crime

Human rights abuses

Worst forms of child labour





The risk areas covered by CIRAF meet and/or exceed market expectations and are fully aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance Annex II risks.

How it Works

Using the CIRAF materiality assessment, CIRAF participants start by identifying which risk categories and areas are relevant for their operations. (As a baseline requirement, participants must obtain third party assurance of their policy and due diligence management system for the Human Rights category).

For all identified material risks, participants will then undertake an annual assessment of their operations and, where applicable, supply chain. Following the assessment, they must make the following publicly available:

  • A summary of the risk assessment and related activities
  • Documentation showing the presence of a policy and due diligence management system for managing the identified risks
  • Demonstration of how existing responsible production and sourcing standards are being applied

As CIRAF is not a certification scheme, it remains the individual company’s responsibility to demonstrate responsible production/sourcing. However, companies will be able to reference the achieved CIRAF conformance level in their public reporting on CIRAF.

The Benefits of CIRAF

  • Strengthens the ability of cobalt producers and buyers to assess, mitigate, and report on responsible production and sourcing risks in their operations and supply chain
  • Enables a more coherent and consistent approach to cobalt due diligence and reporting
  • Allows participants to demonstrate their alignment with global best practices in responsible production and sourcing
  • By covering the entire spectrum of responsible production and sourcing risks, CIRAF ensures that industry has the operational guidance and management framework needed to establish a reputation as one of the most progressive and responsible natural resource industries in the sector.