Posted 24/03/2021

Source Certain International partners with US mining company USA Rare Earth, LLC to develop a transparent and secure supply chain for critical and strategic minerals.

Perth, Western Australia (24 March 2021) – Growing concern is mounting among consumers on the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) commitments made by brands for the products they purchase and consume.

For over half a century global manufacturing industries have been attempting to give consumers confidence that the products they are buying are ethically and sustainably produced through grandiose public statements about their ESG commitments. However, the failure to identify the true origin of critical input products renders many of these statements as claims rather than commitments, giving rise to accusations of virtue signalling.

American-based mining company USA Rare Earth (USARE) is paving the way for a new approach to validate ESG commitments in the mining sector by using Source Certain International (SCI) scientific technology, TSW Trace®, as the key validation method. The partnership between the Australian scientific technology company and USARE, is a world-leading step forward in providing transparency and traceability of rare earth elements and critical and strategic minerals through the power of science.

SCI will support USARE to develop a transparent, traceable and trusted supply chain for its rare earth and lithium products, including permanent magnets. SCI forms a key part of USARE mine-to-magnet and mine-to-market strategy, underpinned by ESG commitments to ethical and sustainable sourcing and manufacturing in the USA. The SCI program will enable verification of provenance for all USA Rare Earth products.

SCI pioneered scientific provenance verification in the late 1970s in Australia. The technology, known as TSW Trace® is used by SCI as a verification and investigative tool in the supply chains of numerous global industries, including mining.

Whether an item is natural or man-made, its composition is made up of chemical, molecular, elemental and isotopic markers. Collectively they can indicate the precise geographic origin of the product, its provenance, and how it may have been produced.

SCI conducts scientific analysis of a physical product sample to identify these markers. The technology verifies discrete provenance and offers the security of science where digital and printed systems are exposed to risks of counterfeit or human error.

The partnership between SCI and USARE is made in the midst of the ever-growing green revolution and geopolitical tensions impinging on the security of supply chains of critical minerals. Demand is forecasted to accelerate quickly for these minerals as governments around the world are shifting their policies to drive a cleaner energy future. The potential threats to the supply of necessary components from countries in the middle of these geopolitical tensions is not favourably paired with the surge in demand. The requirement for new and reliable sources of sustainably and ethically sourced rare earth elements and critical and strategic minerals has never been bigger.

“Supply chain transparency and traceability for critical and strategic minerals supply chains — particularly for green and clean technologies — is fast becoming a requirement for end-users and for governments,” said Pini Althaus, Chief Executive Officer of USA Rare Earth. “We’ve seen it most recently in the solar power sector, with the spotlight on essential solar materials reportedly being produced in China using forced labor. Consumers want to know the products they purchase and use are ethically sourced, and they are going to demand that companies become transparent about their supply chains. USA Rare Earth sees this as core to how we meet our mission as a trusted source for critical and strategic minerals and metals. With SCI as our partner, customers and consumers will know exactly where USA Rare Earth materials come from, how they are mined, refined, recycled and reclaimed – and that the work was done responsibly, and in jurisdictions that have high standards with respect to the environment, safety and social responsibility.”

SCI Managing Director, Cameron Scadding explains, “We will need to mine and manufacture our way to a cleaner energy future. There are a number of minerals and metals that are going to be critical to this, such as rare earths, and making sure that they come from mines and manufacturers that have their values aligned to community expectations, like commitments around ESG, will be as important as securing their supply.”

“These supply chains, some existing and some of which will be new, must be transparent to upstream customers and the end consumer. There will be an expectation of transparency around where these minerals and metals come from and how they have been mined and produced; their provenance will be critical. We are looking forward to working with USARE to drive transparency into their existing supply chains. This partnership will deliver the ability for stakeholders of the USARE supply chain, such as consumer-facing brands, to verify where their products have come from.”

Grant Erskine, CCO is hopeful this partnership will encourage leaders in the renewables sector to undertake a more ethical and established supply chain process.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly sceptical towards businesses making general claims around ‘ethical and sustainable sourcing’ practices. These claims are at times made by businesses with no knowledge of where their input materials actually originate from and therefore it’s impossible for these businesses to stand behind their ethical and sustainable sourcing claims,” says Erskine.

“USA Rare Earth will help shift the broader mining and downstream industries of rare earths and critical and strategic minerals, like electric vehicles, defence and renewable energy, towards a more transparent approach to producing their neo magnet products. This will provide manufacturers within critical industries with a line of sight to the origins of their raw materials and will provide consumers with confidence around the ESG claims of these end products.”

USA Rare Earth, LLC is earning and acquiring an 80% operating joint venture interest in, and is the operator of, the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project located in Hudspeth County, West Texas from Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC: OTCQB). Round Top hosts a wide range of critical heavy rare earth elements, high-tech metals, including lithium, zirconium, hafnium and beryllium.

The USA Rare Earth SCI partnership will demonstrate a unique platform that shares critical information, including key metrics relating to the carbon footprint of the product, any relevant ethical, environmental or sustainability certifications and product provenance – all scientifically verified and transparently documented.

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