The Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation Ben Knapen was pleased to announce the official start of the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative (CFTI) at a cassiterite mine in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, noting that;
“After years of exclusion from international trade and the resulting mass unemployment among miners the CFTI has allowed one of the mines in South Kivu to restart operations. This first bag of conflict-free tin brings us one step closer to new prospects for a conflict-ridden region with many wrongs to make right.”
The initiative utilises the ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi) Programme to carry out due diligence on a variety of involved supply chain actors, as well as to provide traceability of the minerals themselves, and ITRI is extremely pleased and proud to be able to contribute to the return of positive business opportunities and trade to eastern DRC.
Kay Nimmo, Manager of Sustainability at ITRI commented; “Although this is just one mine in South Kivu, the return of the Programme to the Province is an extremely significant event which we hope can lead on to further expansion and a better future for local communities. There are also many other mines both nearby, and in Maniema Province of the DRC, that are conflict-free and can hopefully soon benefit from similar commitment from supporting stakeholders.”
Many industry partners have been brought together by the Government of the Netherlands and have committed to support the CFTI in order to provide the vital ingredient in the supply chain; end customers committed to working through the due diligence process to develop a responsible supply chain. Information on partners and other details can be found on the project website here.
On Monday, an extraordinary ‘Comité Provincial de Suivi’ meeting was arranged by Pact (as field implementers of the project), and chaired by the Governor himself to celebrate the official launch. Stakeholders participating and assisting with the project attended the meeting including: Civil Society, MONUSCO, BGR, USAID, IOM, Comptoirs, Negociants, Cooperatives and State Services.
The project benefits from contributions from the South African Government through the Department of Trade and Industry’s Regional Spatial Development Initiatives Program (RSDIP) and the United States, and this mine in South Kivu adds to many other sites currently producing conflict-free cassiterite, tantalite and wolframite across Katanga Province, DRC and Rwanda.