Each month, our on-the-ground teams make hundreds of visits to mining areas, transport routes and mineral processing facilities in order to record potential issues with the 3T mineral supply chain which can then be further verified and highlighted to all stakeholders via incident reports. In order to supplement and enhance the existing incident reporting via our field teams, and provide additional opportunities for stakeholders to report on the more sensitive risks, iTSCi began working with a local organisation to trial whistleblowing in some of our operational areas in 2015 using a toll-free hotline.
The system was recently extended to Maniema and the four provinces of the former Katanga. Every month, the local operators now receive between 30 to 50 calls or alerts, most of which most are linked to 3T minerals. Allegations received range from illegal taxation at road barriers, to state agents receiving bribes, and all are further investigated and verified as far as possible. Overall, the system allows the supply chain, via iTSCi, to become aware of risks as soon as possible, knowing that the information is credible and has been evaluated at each level.
Now, local community radio stations help to promote the whistleblowing system and the toll-free hotline, and awareness-raising materials such as leaflets and banners are distributed in all relevant areas. Training has also helped to ensure a common understanding of key risks among stakeholders and this work is expected to increase in value in the future.
Field activities of ITSCI are implemented through Pact Inc with the support of Apple Inc.
Distribution of awareness raising materials