Ionic Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: IXR, OTC: IXRRF) earned an overall environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating of “BB” from Digbee ESG for its corporate and development activities around the Makuutu rare earths project in Uganda.
Makuutu is being developed by IXR’s 51% owned Ugandan subsidiary, Rwenzori Rare Metals Limited (RRM).
“Our commitment to a transparent ESG strategy, reporting and continuous improvement program is exemplified by our partnership with Digbee ESG,” said Ionic Rare Earths Managing Director Tim Harrison.
“Now that Digbee ESG’s independent team of experts have identified IonicRE’s baseline benchmarks, we will now incorporate all of their recommendations to help improve our environmental, social and governance programs, which will remain a key component in the development of our assets, and in compliance with the highest levels of business ethics.
Digbee ESG is considered one of the mining industry’s leading independent assessment platforms for ESG disclosure, endorsed by the world’s top financiers and commissioned by a wide variety of mining companies wishing to improve their ESG credentials.
“The Board and staff of IonicRE and subsidiary Rwenzori Rare Metals are pleased with our first overall ESG award of ‘BB’ and recognize that this range offers near-term opportunities for improvement,” Harrison continued. .
“As the improvements are integrated into our current operations, we look forward to preparing our next submission and demonstrating the improvement as we move Makuutu forward into development and operations.”
Digbee ESG rating
The Digbee platform provides ESG scores based on several factors, including environmental impacts, resettlement and community engagement strategies, complaints and communication processes, and the company’s overall ESG strategy.
IXR has obtained ratings between C and AA, for an average of BB.
“All companies have the opportunity to demonstrate a positive ESG journey,” said Jamie Strauss, Founder and CEO of Digbee ESG.
“IonicRE’s management commitment to embracing transparency and building a sustainable project was emphasized time and time again during the company’s submission.
“Rare earth metals are a critical material needed for the global energy transition and the Makuutu project is well positioned to realize a number of sustainable benefits, such as hydropower.
“A number of important areas for remediation have been identified, but I am confident that this leadership’s commitment to addressing them in future periods will be proven.”
Engage in continuous improvement
“The rare earth circular economy will become increasingly important over the coming years,” Harrison continued.
“Demonstrating sustainable business practices and a commitment to ESG transparency and reporting of our activities will create value for our stakeholders and positively impact social development programs in Uganda, while enabling industries to develop carbon neutral applications.
“The board and management of IonicRE, along with our subsidiaries Rwenzori Rare Metals and Ionic Technologies, accept the scientific notion of climate change.
“It is the result of human activity, and that activities associated with rare earth mining, refining and technological innovation of magnet recycling may contribute to rising temperatures through emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG).
“In the coming months, we look forward to publishing our ESG strategy and reporting aspirations, as we seek to incorporate the improvements outlined in our first Digbee report and launch our communication on progress to the United Nations Global Compact. United.
“IonicRE’s next submission to Digbee for review by the global panel of independent ESG experts is September 2023.”