Malaysia Smelting Corporation has rejected suggestions that the acceptability of its tin has been adversely affected by impending US legislation, Metal Bulletin reports. MSC was responding to an earlier MB report that buyers were wary of accepting its tin, as it was a known buyer of ore from the DR Congo. The earlier report also noted that an estimated 85 – 90% of LME warrant stocks may be MSC brand.
"Tin production from DRC constitutes less than 5% of the current world production of tin and less than 15% of MSC tin production in 2009," said group COO Chua Cheong Yong in a statement. "It should also be noted that a proportion of MSC material arises from Katanga province in the DRC, an area not considered to be within the conflict zone and not affected by the current mining suspension," he said. The conflicts mineral legislation under the Dodd Frank Bill will not limit trade – the only requirement is for disclosure of sources, he noted. "The final ‘rules’ of this legislation are currently being drafted by the SEC in the US and both MSC and ITRI are engaged… to ensure that industry due diligence measures will also comply with those rules once available," said Chua.
He also pointed out that the smelter audit process set to be in place by 2011 by the Electronic Industry Citizen Coalition (EICC) will apply to the global tin smelting industry, not just the MSC brand. "No tin producers will be audited until the verification method has been fully defined," he added. MSC has its own conflict mineral policy in place and is fully committed to meet ITRI’s due diligence processes and EICC’s smelter audit processes, he added.
Sources in Asia told MB that MSC’s tin customers are unlikely to be put off by the new legislation. "The Congo is not a major tin producer in the world, and the amount of tin MSC buys from DRC may be negligible to affect customer decisions," said Norico Gaman, a commodities analyst at BNI Sekuritas in Jakarta. The Kuala Lumpur Tin Market (KLTM), where MSC’s tin brand also trades, has not seen any negative impact despite the reports surrounding the origin of MSC tin. "Trading goes per normal. We don’t expect any impact at all," said Dzuhilmy Omar, call chairman at the KLTM.