The IWCC Regulatory Affairs Committee met in Vienna, Austria last week.

This meeting built on the successful initial meeting in December 2023 providing a platform for updates, sharing information, and developing industry positions on topics like CBAM, the EU Net Zero Industries Act and Critical Raw Materials Act, and lead regulations.

The committee received an interesting and insightful presentation by John Lindberg, Policy and Public Affairs Lead at the ICMM, who spoke about the various global sustainability initiatives affecting the mining and metals industry, including the process for a possible New ISO standard for sustainable metals supply chains.  Discussion then moved to the process to bring together four of a major industry sustainability initiatives into one single standard – The Copper Mark, Towards Sustainable Mining, The World Gold Council Standard and ICMM’s Mining Principles.

A presentation was then given by Anna-Maria Karjalainen, ICA Europe, on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.  IWCC Members had contributed to a recent report commissioned by industry to assess the possible impact of CBAM on the copper value chain should copper be included in the coming years.  The discussion focused on market distortion which the policy would cause and the potential of the policy to disadvantage the European industry.

The final presentation was given by Quentin de Hults, Director General, ICA Europe on their policy priorities in the coming 5 years to coincide with the next EU Parliament and Commission.  IWCC members broadly supported the approach outlined, although there were specific topics in which fabricators would need to maintain their own initiative and advocacy.

A discussion was then held on the impact of rules of origin requirements in EU trade agreements requiring a semi to contain over 50% of its raw material to be produced in the EU at any point. The policy was seen as too inflexible and not practical, especially should any shortage of EU produced cathode arise. It was agreed that the IWCC would look into this matter further and report on possible advocacy approaches in particular working with other associations such as Eurometaux or WVM.

Finally, several committee members were involved in the IWCC-CDA US working group on the scope and methodology for calculating recycled content in semis production processes. Members discussed which scope would be most appropriate and consistent for calculating recycled content, and the need for transparency in how the recycled content of a semi was determined.

The meeting was also an opportunity to meet colleagues and network, and committee dinner was held the night before giving the chance to enjoy some of the local Austrian cuisine. We would like to thank all IWCC members present for supporting the event. We look forward to the Autumn Meeting, which will be hosted on the 14th of October.