Tin, tantalum and electronics industry project partners spent the last 10 days visiting DRC and Rwanda in order to see recent progress in the iTSCi mineral traceability project implementation on the ground. This is the first time that such a delegation representing all stages of the supply chain have visited Eastern DRC and all local stakeholders appreciated very much the opportunity to meet the project partners and to show support for the process.
The delegation also attended the joint International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and OECD meeting in Nairobi to discuss due diligence guidance on mineral sourcing from conflict affected areas, and where it was clear that implementation of the iTSCi scheme would be key to establishing the traceability component of the ICGLR regional certification mechanism.
Although the iTSCi tagging project at the pilot Kalimbi mine site has been suspended under the general mining arrete announced by President Kabila early in September, and it was therefore not possible for the delegation to visit the mine site as planned, the team held many valuable discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, all of whom remained very positive about the project, understood its urgency, and declared their full support for work once the project is able to recommence. Meetings included the Provincial Minister of Mines for North and South Kivu, the Governor of North Kivu and Vice Governor of South Kivu, local industry groups as well as local NGO’s. The visitors also participated in the regular ‘pilot committee’ meetings in Goma and Bukavu which include local police and FARDC representatives as well as NGO’s and civil society. A variety of iTSCi paperwork and tags from trading before the suspension were viewed at the comptoir and negociant level.
The delegation also visited Rwanda, due to implement the iTSCi tagging process over the next few months, and went underground at the Rutongo cassiterite mine.
Kay Nimmo of ITRI remarked “ITRI and our industry partners have been working very hard to obtain a practical solution to the conflict minerals issue through discussion with the ICGLR and the OECD, and via on the ground implementation of various traceability measures by industry participants in the iTSCi process. All our meetings in DRC, Rwanda and Nairobi over this last week have been very positive and we look forward to closer collaboration with the ICGLR in the future so that the iTSCi system can be used on a more regional basis.”
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region agreed at Ministerial level on Friday 1st October to rely on guidance developed by the OECD regarding how companies should avoid funding conflict through the trade of minerals. The 11 countries of the ICGLR are Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Industry participants in the ICGLR-OECD meeting agreed to incorporate the guidance (as distributed at the meeting) into their own policies and management systems, and have called on the US Securities and Exchange Commission to rely on the OECD due diligence guidance in drafting new regulations on annual reporting.
Photograph of the delegation available;
From left to right; Lum Hoi Kon (MSC), Andy Cooper (ITRI), Julie Pereira (Lynceus Group), Candida Owens (Cronimet), Mussadiq Hamid Merican (MSC), Bill Millman (AVX), Assheton Carter (PACT), Mike Loch (GeSI), Richard Burt (T.I.C.), Peter Ward (IBM), Dave Reynolds (Kemet), Jerry Meyers (EICC), Kay Nimmo (ITRI), Vincent Songe (iTSCi Project Manager DRC).
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Kay Nimmo, ITRI Ltd
Telephone: + 44 (0) 1727 871 312
Email: [email protected]