Environmental and social performance of mining operations, as well as of the metals we produce, continues to be of interest to many stakeholders within the value chain, from customers to regulators. We view this trend as an opportunity to engage on the vital importance of our products for social progress as well as on our programs that guide responsible operating practices.
Maintaining market access for our products allows us to remain a viable business entity. Members of our Product Stewardship team engage both downstream customers and international governmental agencies on operational and product-specific sustainability issues. We believe that proactive engagement on product stewardship matters can help reduce sustainability-related risks and ultimately enable us to continue to deliver positive contributions to society.
Our Product Stewardship team is led by our Vice President of Environmental Services and Sustainable Development and is coordinated with our global product sales and legal teams with support from multiple technical experts.
Leveraging our resources, we also engage with our industry and commodity associations to tackle many of the challenges facing our products around the globe. Our commitment and participation in key organizations, such as the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA), and related Molybdenum Consortium, and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), enable us to work with our industry partners on Product Stewardship issues common among trade association members.
As a Product Stewardship team, we assist our business partners to ensure market access for our products. Some examples of the team’s work include:
- Compliance with global chemical legislation (e.g., the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program, U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and developing programs such as Korea REACH). As a significant producer of molybdenum products, we are the lead registrant for five molybdenum products under REACH.
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date product Safety Data Sheets and product labels consistent with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) as adopted in the various jurisdictions where our products are produced, transported and used.
- Respond to customer inquiries about our products – including how they may be regulated in various jurisdictions.
- Participate and contribute in industry-wide life cycle inventory (LCI) updates and life cycle assessments (LCA) for our products – quantifying the environmental impacts of our products considering all inputs, such as water, energy and raw materials, and releases to water, land and air. LCI and LCA data are increasingly being used for EU Product Environmental Footprint, Environmental Product Declarations and specific customer requests.
- As a member of IMOA, we were proactive in monitoring regulatory proceedings or reviews of molybdenum or molybdenum compounds and engage to ensure any regulatory outcomes are based on the latest, best science.
As a result of these efforts, several key outcomes were realized:
- We engaged with IMOA to have molybdenum and molybdenum compounds removed from the State of Washington’s “List of Chemicals of High Concern to Children.”
- We also supported IMOA in publishing a scientific paper to highlight the most recent studies related to the potential human health effects of certain molybdenum compounds to ensure consideration by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as it prepared a Monograph on Molybdenum Trioxide.
- We also acted in an advocacy role in the State of Colorado to inform regulators and other public stakeholders of IMOA’s recently completed studies that support a revised industry proposed human health-based water quality standard for molybdenum that remains under consideration.
PHOTO DESCRIPTION: On January 9th, 2018, Climax Molybdenum Company celebrated the production of 2 billion pounds of molybdenum, the same year Climax celebrates its 100th anniversary. Molybdenum improves the strength of low alloy steel, making the element ideal for lightweight applications such as fuel-efficient vehicles, power generation turbines, and aerospace components.