iTSCi announced the recent signature of a further agreement with the Ministry of Mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) extending co-operation on implementation of the due diligence programme. The new extension paves the way for iTSCi activities in Maniema and the Kivu’s, and also reflects the evolving role of iTSCi in the tantalite and wolframite sectors, in addition to cassiterite, as well as the formally structured arrangements of the company membership agreement under which the project is now jointly managed through ITRI and T.I.C.

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was agreed following an evaluation of progress by Ministry experts who have reported improved transparency and statistics of production, and resulting tax revenues, as well as increased Government control and governance in the stanniferrous mineral sector in Katanga; the only Province where iTSCi is currently able to operate. Unfortunately the planned extension to Maniema is currently blocked by lack of acceptance of existing stock minerals on the international market.

The MoU strengthens the concept of training and capacity building for Ministry services in the field in order to highlight their anticipated increasing responsibility for traceability in the future, and also emphasises the role of the local stakeholder committees in raising issues and finding solutions. Both iTSCi and the Ministry recognise the need to encourage due diligence across the supply chain and to appropriately respond to any risks that might arise in relation to human rights or conflict related issues and will work in close co-operation on this key aspect.