Electronics giant Motorola Solutions today announced the launch of the “Solutions for Hope” Project, a pilot initiative to source conflict-free tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to be used in its products. It is partnered in the scheme by capacitor producer AVX Corporation. The process’ basis is a ”closed pipe” principle in which tantalite ore mined from a single site within the Katanga Province of the DRC is traced along its secure closed supply chain to the end customer’s equipment in the form of tantalum capacitors supplied by AVX.

Rich Valin, corporate vice president, chief procurement officer, Motorola Solutions, said: “While the problem of conflict minerals cannot be solved by one company or a single industry, the Solutions for Hope Project underscores Motorola Solutions’ commitment to responsible sourcing from the DRC. We have helped to create this supply line to demonstrate that the DRC can and should remain a viable source of conflict-free minerals.”

In a separate statement Bill Millman, AVX Tantalum Divisional Director of Quality and Technology, said: “This program provides hope to the small artisanal miners and communities who rely on this work to support them and their families. These miners are suffering from the unintended consequences of a de facto embargo within the non-conflicted regions of Katanga as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act in the USA.”

The mine supplying the ore was one of the first to implement the iTSCi traceability system in Katanga in late March. Regular assessments of the circumstances of mining are therefore made by the iTSCi project team. The co-operative operating the site, as well as the exporter and the processor are all provisional members of the iTSCi programme; companies that are currently undergoing complete independent risk assessment for conflict related links.