The Conflict Free Tin Initiative (CFTI) achieved a landmark success in late 2012 by bringing together a range of partners to provide a chance of resumption of trade to the mines around Nyabibwe in South Kivu, DRC through responsible business. The CFTI used the iTSCi Programme upstream, together with the CFSP audit program at the smelter, to verify conflict free sources and make them available to downstream metal buyers. The project was encouraged and financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands MFA. Recently this donor funding and the CFTI project has come to an end, however, the significance of this pioneering work remains immeasurable and it leaves a legacy on which iTSCi and many other positive initiatives can continue and develop. The CFTI brought representatives of different levels of the supply chain together and demonstrated that conflict free supply chains could be built from areas such as the Kivu’s previously thought of as too high risk. Now, local and international actors in the upstream supply chain have committed to keep the iTSCi Programme operating at Nyabibwe pending further developments on funding and other wider Programme extensions. The iTSCi Programme still faces significant funding challenges, particularly at early stages of implementation in any new area as mineral production starts at an extremely low level and can take many months to build. Although iTSCi is a joint industry mechanism, initial private sector investment in challenging, remote and low production areas is difficult to justify on a business level and initial donor support is essential to ensure implementation over a wide area. While the iTSCi Programme has extensive local support, further donor funding would bring the demonstrated benefits to more communities at a greater rate. iTSCi welcomes discussion with donors regarding funding opportunities and will continue to support Nyabibwe and help achieve this wider objective.
Building on CFTI for conflict free minerals from South Kivu
Jun 24, 2014