A conference organised by the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) has reviewed current global initiatives towards improving security and human rights in minerals supply chains. Very positive progress has been made but some speakers called for more commitment by downstream companies including sharing costs.

The November conference in California brought together experts and practitioners from industry, governments, and civil society from around the globe and across tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) supply chains to discuss strategies, programs, lessons learned and emerging issues as they relate to sourcing minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

The event explored the on-going global evolution of due diligence initiatives in 3T and other minerals supply chains, focussing on their drivers and motivations.

Kay Nimmo presented an overview of progress in the large scale iTSCi joint industry programme, highlighting opportunities for further engagement from downstream companies in this important work, from learning more, to directly funding projects such as on health and safety improvements.

John Kanyoni, Vice-Président de la Chambre des Mines, Fédération des Entreprises du Congo (FEC), highlighted progress in Central Africa over the last few years, from the side of the industry, the national governments and the ICGLR. Much hard work from the FEC and its members has meant that the majority of 3T production is now traceable and not funding conflict.

However, almost all of the funding is from mostly small-scale upstream business, with large downstream corporates contributing just a few percent. He called for a more equitable sharing of costs as well as value and encouraged all to see the opportunity in supporting programmes that can show improvement and good outcomes.

Joseph Ikoli Yombo Y’Apeke, Deputy Director Cabinet, Ministry of Mines, DRC also called for additional financial support from downstream users during his speech.