Apple’s Conflict Minerals Report (CMR) for the period of 2016 has recently been published here. The CMR notes 15 incidents in which individuals identified as members or potential members of ‘armed groups’ were alleged to be involved. Of these, the majority of incidents (13) were relating to 3T minerals due to the far greater transparency of risks monitored by iTSCi than for other minerals with no industry programme active on the ground.
As was the case in the previous year, iTSCi worked closely with Apple to assist in their evaluation of incidents monitored by our programme. In 2016, Apple reviewed 863 iTSCi incidents from DRC and adjoining countries of the Great Lakes Region (Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda) and more than 400 additional risks reported by local NGOs, and other sources to supplement and verify coverage of the iTSCi monitoring system. Apple’s review identified only 6 incidents that had not been identified by iTSCi and to date, the additional information has not led to any further verified risks.
The 13 iTSCi incidents considered high risk by Apple involved various alleged and confirmed payments ranging from US$0.8 to US$800. Despite completing a full investigation on all incidents that have been closed, and continuing to seek information on incidents which remain in progress, iTSCi has, to date, found no evidence confirming a direct link between illegal payments to non-state or state armed groups and specific mineral batches in any of the 13 incidents. The likelihood of possible links may depend on interpretation of each situation and this document ( found here) provides details of each of the 13 incidents, latest status, further comment and a view of the challenges of conclusive determination. Apple highlighted that due diligence improvements represented 41% of outcomes from all 2016 iTSCi monitored and closed incidents, and considered this to demonstrate the continuous improvement occurring along the supply chain.