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case study:

critical minerals supply chain review

an ESG focussed review of the nickel supply chain: from mine to EV​

at a glance


  • Explore what checks and balances EV manufacturers put on their critical mineral supply chain​

  • Are they encouraging their suppliers to improve their ESG practices? ​

  • What are the mining companies doing to improve their practices and improve their ESG related impacts? ​

  • Are mining companies meeting the requirements specified by their clients?​


  • Benchmark data across a range of ESG topics from mining operators (suppliers) and EV manufacturers (clients)​

  • Recommendations for how our client can work with both suppliers and clients, navigating the ESG requirements​

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Building an understanding of the requirements and performance of the nickel supply chain​


A technology start-up company working in the mining sector needed to understand the key ESG issues of the critical mineral supply chain. This was needed to enable them to source the raw materials to complete their process, and then to sell to their end client. ​

We assessed two points in the nickel supply chain. ​

  • ESG performance of large and small (local) mining companies extracting nickel ore, and​

  • ESG supplier requirements of the Electric Vehicle (EV) auto-manufacturers receiving the nickel. ​

steps taken

  1. Extensive research utilising publicly available information​

  2. Detailed review and compilation of ESG data and performance for a selection of large and small mining companies​

  3. Detailed review and compilation of ESG related supplier requirements of EV manufacturers, including standards and ESG reporting​

  4. Evaluation of how mining company ESG performance matches up to ESG requirements of the EV manufacturers (clients)​

  5. Report of findings and recommendations for areas of future focus for the client ​


from the auto-manufacturers perspective​

  • Large auto-manufacturers had extensive publicly available supplier documentation stipulating their expectations of suppliers across the range of ESG topics.​

  • Regional variation is apparent between US and European companies regarding the details of specific guidelines or frameworks referenced. ​

  • The 2 key mining industry-specific frameworks required are IRMA (Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance) and RMI (Responsible Mining Index)

from the mining companies’ perspective

  • For all but the smallest mining companies (who had limited information available) there appears to be good general alignment with the auto-manufacturers supplier ESG requirements. ​

  • There was a distinct difference between the mining industry reporting frameworks specified by the auto companies, compared to the frameworks actually being used by the mining companies.​

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