A joint initiative to set up a European Partnership for Responsible Minerals has been launched with the aim of eradicating links between conflict and minerals in the supply chain to the EU. Several governments, led by The Netherlands, are involved in the scheme and they will work together with leading businesses, including major electronics manufacturers, to support the socially responsible extraction of minerals with a special focus on conflict zones and other high risk areas.

This new programme, which will increase information sharing between businesses, governments and NGOs, aims to raise awareness of due diligence in the minerals supply chain. The public – private sector partnership aims to be operational within six months and has been set up to run in parallel to ongoing regulatory processes relating to mineral imports into the EU. The partners are convinced of the added value of this multi-stakeholder initiative to support responsible sourcing of minerals and to promote the sustainable development of mining across the mineral supply chain.

Mr Christiaan Rebergen from the Netherlands Ministry Of Foreign Affairs said of the partnership “Legislation alone will not enable us to directly improve the situation of miners in conflict areas, but this public – private partnership will.” A copy of the press release can be downloaded here.

ITRI welcomes action to address issues and encourage change on the ground which experience has shown to be more effective than solely regulation and auditing of the supply chain.