The recent Conflict Minerals Report (CMR) from Apple Inc (here) described how the company performed due diligence in 2015, including review of more than 700 iTSCi incident report summaries. iTSCi is pleased to co-operate with member companies making use of incident reports to learn lessons since that will further improve our activities to achieve positive change in the central African 3T mineral sector. iTSCi also encourages the international community to addresses some of the interpretation challenges highlighted during the review in order to reach an improved common and practical understanding of the best approach to manage ‘conflict minerals’. For example, how to align definitions and interpretations of armed groups in OECD guidance and Dodd Frank, how to interpret the actions of rogue individuals as opposed to actions of ‘armed groups’, managing limitations in directly linking final products to incidents at mines, and how best to utilise the type of information that is available. Incidents noted in the CMR as still being actively investigated relate to acts of individuals linked to police, the army or other authorities in the DRC; none related to non-state armed groups. The amount of mineral that could be linked to these incidents was around 0.1% of that tracked from mines by iTSCi in 2015, with the potential financial gain of up to around US$425 in total which appeared to be for personal gain of the individuals. The authorities followed up and resolved the issues within a short time.
Further information on the interpretation challenges and other details mentioned can be found in this document in English (here) as well as in French (here).