RareX has established its environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework as part of its sustainable development approach for the Cummins Range rare earths project in WA.

The company has adopted the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) framework guidelines as a basis to work from as it moves from exploration to operational mining activities.

RareX (ASX:REE) says the ESG framework will help ensure that it can develop Cummins Range in a responsible and balanced manner, with due regard for safety, corporate governance, the environment, Indigenous relationships, community, and stakeholder engagement.


A role to play in the sustainable rare earths supply chain

“RareX has an important role to play in supplying rare earth minerals that are crucial for the low carbon economy, such as electric vehicles and wind turbines, as well as advanced technology for telecommunications and military purposes,” RareX managing director Jeremy Robinson said.

“As we move to further develop the Cummins Range Rare Earths Project, we look to set the standard in the protection of Aboriginal culture and heritage.

“Progressing into the later part of 2021, we look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Jaru People and the Kimberley Land Council.”

The company plans to publish its first ESG performance update in 2022 for the 2021-2022 financial year.


Integrating ESG from the get-go 

“Our sustainability vision is to integrate ESG appropriately and practically from the beginning,” RareX general manager projects James Durrant said.

“By setting our standards from the onset and integrating this with how we conduct our exploration and how we design the Cummins Range and future projects, we are able both to begin measuring and monitoring what matters now and integrating what matters in the future into our design, creating a true sustainability-in-design approach.”

With that in mind, the company has created a materiality matrix that covers issues of high importance to stakeholders and that have an impact on the company.


RareX ESG matrix
The materiality matrix identifies ESG topics which had the largest potential impact on RareX and are of high importance to shareholders.


Stage 1 exploration and project definition

Three stages have been identified for implementing the ESG framework based around the WEF guidelines, with RareX currently focused on Stage 1.

Principles of governance

  • Adopt an ESG Framework and publish it on the company website;
  • Prepare an ESG report for FY2021-22;
  • Maintain a register of key stakeholders including contact names of the KLC, Jaru station holder and pastoralists, and planned/required liaisons;
  • Allocate resources to implement ESG activities;
  • Integrate reviews of downstream, value chain risks, on, and offshore, including considerations of modern slavery, jurisdictional ethics, and climate action;
  • Conduct an annual review of policies for suitability and consistency with the ESG report, including anti-corruption, whistleblowing, health, and safety;
  • Develop consistency of ESG reporting to the Taskforce for Climate Related Disclosures recommendations; and
  • Include an ESG remit into the Charter of the Audit and Risk Committee.


  • Develop an emissions footprint based on current exploration activities;
  • Develop current footprints for water and energy consumption and GHG emissions during exploration, including through working with contractors;
  • Identify the potential economic and environmental contributions that RareX could make by channelling its products to low carbon products, e.g. for electric vehicles and wind turbines;
  • Engage with Government on relevant initiatives, such as stakeholder input to the WA net zero emissions strategy and potential financial support such as through ARENA for low carbon infrastructure; and
  • Integrate options for cleaner energy and waste management for mining and refining into our project definition studies.

People and prosperity

  • Measure and report on key health and safety data: Including near misses, Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR), Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) and identified hazards for staff and contractors;
  • Begin to develop a safety program which identifies safety risks and develops controls and systems to manage them, including for contractors;
  • Develop recruitment strategy for jobs in the Kimberleys and amongst indigenous communities;
  • Report on economic contributions to the community as well as numbers of employed staff/ contractors and salary expense;
  • Report on any financial assistance received from the government; and
  • Begin reporting on annual training activities, budget, and oversight/engagement from directors.

The ESG framework for Stages 2 and 3 will be refined as the company enters those phases of the project.

This article was developed in collaboration with RareX, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.