Sourcing Conflict-free Minerals from the Kivus No Longer a Pipe Dream, Monitoring Must Follow

From Enough blogs Tue Feb 26 2013, 17:34:49

Eastern Congo's Kivu provinces are making slow but steady progress to establish certified minerals trading routes. A total of 20 mining sites qualified and validated as "green" (conflict-free) in North and South Kivu by a multi-stakeholder body made up of the Congolese government, minerals dealers, and local NGOs. Parts of South Kivu have fortunately been spared from the M23 conflict epidemic that has, in addition to its dire humanitarian consequences, inflicted a blackout on legal minerals flows. Neighboring North Kivu province, where the rebellion has settled itself since May 2012, has borne the brunt of that economic blow.

In South Kivu, where the mutiny was quickly quelled by the Congolese army, the electronics company Philips, Motorola Solutions, the Congolese government, and the Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation have initiated a conflict-free supply chain through a pilot project called Conflict-Free Tin Initiative, or CFTI. This project is a positive step but should be followed up with a permanent independent monitoring system to ensure no conflict minerals leak into the system.

The Enough Project joined more than two dozen delegates from Philips, Motorola Solutions, Fair Phone, ITRI, other industry partners, governments, civil society groups, journalists, and the Netherlands special envoy, Prince Jaime de Bourbon Parme, on a four-day trip to see first-hand the Kivus' first conflict-free minerals supply chain in the works. The process consists of human rights observers who conduct periodic spot checks at the mine, risks management and mitigation plans by local minerals stakeholders, and the tagging system from the mine to the export point.

The CFTI project kicked off at Nyabibwe's Kalimbi tin mine in October 2012 and uses the ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative, or iTSCi, to carry out due diligence on a variety of actors along the supply chain, as well as to provide traceability consisting of mineral bags tagging from the mines to export points.

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