Preparations have got underway to extend the iTSCi traceability and due diligence programme into North Kivu, DRC to work at the mine concession of Mwangachuchu Hizi International (MHI) in Masisi Territory from where conflict-free minerals could be exported in a few weeks. An important factor that has allowed this expansion into a fourth province of the DRC is the improving security situation following the recent defeat of the rebel group M23. The iTSCi independent evaluators made a field visit to Rubaya in late November in order to directly evaluate the possibility of risks and found no evidence that non-state armed groups were illegally controlling mine sites/transportation routes or illegally collecting taxes or extorting money by other means. The mine is validated ‘green’ by the DRC Ministry of Mines, and has undergone other audits such as for the BGR-CTC project. The company itself (MHI) has also recently been approved as a full iTSCi member following a further independent pre-audit on the company policies and due diligence plans, as well as possible links to conflict. Kay Nimmo, a representative on the iTSCi Governance Committee explained that “Expansion into North Kivu is a highly significant and positive step, not only for the iTSCi programme but for the businesses and communities in the Province wishing to find a way to access international markets for their conflict-free minerals.” The Rubaya mines have not been operating normally for over 3 years due to the impacts of Dodd Frank and the de-facto embargo. Other nearby mines in North Kivu are also candidates for inclusion into the iTSCi Programme if a financing arrangement can be found.
iTSCi extends into conflict-free areas of North Kivu, DRC
Feb 3, 2014