An independent panel of globally recognised environmental, social and governance (ESG) experts from Digbee ESGTM has awarded ASX-listed Ionic Rare Earths an overall ESG rating of “BB” on both corporate and the Makuutu rare earth project in Uganda.
Makuutu is being developed by Ionic’s 51%-owned Ugandan subsidiary, Rwenzori Rare Metals (RRM).
Ionic says this inaugural submission and review by Digbee demonstrates its continued strong commitment to ESG integration, reporting transparency and continuous improvement.
The Digbee platform offers companies a right-sized, future-looking set of globally aligned ESG frameworks to map out ESG risks and opportunities.
In assessing ESG credentials, Digbee looked at several factors and awarded those individual factors a score that ranged from C to AA. The BB score achieved by Ionic is an average of all scores and the company acknowledges that there is the potential to reflect C or AA depending on action or inaction taken to manage ESG risks and opportunities.
“Our commitment to a transparent ESG strategy, reporting and continuous improvement programme is exemplified by our partnership with Digbee ESGTM.
“Now that the independent team of experts from Digbee ESGTM have identified Ionic Rare Earths' baseline credentials, we will now incorporate all their recommendations in order to assist in improving our ESG programmes, which will remain a key focus in the development of our assets, and in upholding the highest levels of business ethics,” comments Ionic MD Tim Harrison.
“The board and staff of Ionic Rare Earths and subsidiary company RRM are pleased with our maiden overall ESG award of “BB” and acknowledge that this range provides some near-term opportunities for improvement.
“As the improvements are embedded in our current operations, we look forward to preparing our next submission and demonstrating improvement as we advance Makuutu towards development and operations,” he adds.
“The commitment by Ionic Rare Earths' management to embrace transparency and build a sustainable project was emphasised time and again during the company’s submission. Rare earth metals are a critical material required for the global energy transition and the Makuutu project is well located to take advantage of a number of sustainable benefits, such as hydropower.
“A number of important areas of remediation have been identified but I have no doubt the commitment of this management to address these over subsequent periods will be proven,” comments Digbee CEO and founder Jamie Strauss.