According to Reuters, the conflict-free tin initiative recently launched in Kalimbi mine, South Kivu has already produced benefits to the local mine community. During the suspension in exports, some mining carried on but local prices collapsed by a factor of 6 to less than $1 a kilogramme and the only buyers were Chinese exporters untroubled by traceability, and smugglers. But, a little more than a week after the ‘bag and tag’ scheme got underway at Kalimbi mine, the price has bounced back to $3.5 per kilogramme and more than 3,300 kg in minerals have been tagged here. “It’s really great, better than great,” said artisanal miner Roberto Maisha, “We were really struggling because we couldn’t find anyone to buy our minerals,” adding he spent months scrabbling to find enough food for his family and unable to pay the fees to send his children to school.
The CFTI uses the iTSCi process of tagging, on the ground evaluation and audit which was set up to practically implement OECD due diligence guidance in central Africa, and to revive the legal trade in minerals. iTSCi is currently the only traceability programme operating in Rwanda, and in Congo’s more stable Katanga province. With the help of backers including South Africa, the United States and the Netherlands, a tagging project has been launched for the first time in the Kivus, the two Congolese provinces that have borne the brunt of years of violence and looting and have been the source of most of the region’s conflict minerals. The full article is available here.