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Critical minerals explorer Lomiko Metals appoints first Chief Sustainability Officer

Cindy Valence will lead the company’s sustainability strategy and stakeholder engagement, including with First Nations.
Melodie Michel
Critical minerals explorer Lomiko Metals appoints first Chief Sustainability Officer
Cindy Valence, Chief Sustainability Officer at Lomiko Metals

Canadian graphite and lithium explorer Lomiko Metals has appointed Cindy Valence as its first Chief Sustainability Officer.

Valence is based in Quebec and will be tasked with leading the company’s sustainability strategy as it embarks on a new phase of growth. In particular, she will be in charge of stakeholder engagement, handling relations with local communities, First Nations and governments.

She will also engage with suppliers as part of Lomiko’s ECOLOGO Certification for Mineral Exploration Companies, a standard developed by the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association to assess the environmental, social and ethical impacts of mineral exploration firms and their suppliers. 

Valence was previously Chief Sustainability Officer at Australia-based lithium producer Sayona Mining Limited, where she led the creation of the sustainable development department.

“On behalf of the team and board of directors, we are thrilled that Cindy will join our team for the next phase of growth,” said Belinda Labatte, CEO and Interim Chair of the Board at Lomiko Metals. 

“We also appreciate her agile approach and pursuit of excellence and innovation as we have worked with her in a consulting capacity in recent weeks. Her approach to sustainable development ensures a continuous engagement approach in Quebec without delay. As our new team member, Lomiko is affirming our commitment to Quebec and inclusive leadership.”

Lomiko Metals government grants 

Valence’s appointment will also support the company in conducting the studies required by the US Department of Defense and Natural Resources Canada, as part of the US$8.35 million and C$4.9 million grants they each offered it to develop of a decarbonised and community-centred graphite mine in La Loutre, Quebec.

The La Loutre project site is within the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (KZA) First Nation’s territory, and Lomiko has First Nations representation on its board and advisory team.

“We are developing the future of the critical minerals and energy transition sector, together," added Labatte.

Firms involved in the production of minerals necessary for the energy transition, such as lithium, nickel, copper and cobalt, are under increasing pressure to adopt strict environmental and human rights policies. More than 90 human rights abuse allegations were recorded in these supply chains last year, most of which affected Indigenous Peoples’ rights and their defenders.

Lomiko aims to be a “people-first company”, with a vision to “build a meaningful and inclusive critical minerals company of the future”.