Posted 12/4/2012 by Paul Cote
The first bags of conflict-free tin have left the mine in South Kivu, DRC marking that the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative has officially commenced. This initial step in the Initiative’s pilot project is the beginning of the flow of minerals through a controlled supply chain outside the reach of armed groups.
“Alpha is pleased to support this important Initiative and is aware of the allegations that tin mined in conflict areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be making its way into the electronics supply chain and that profits from tin mining in conflict areas in the DRC, so called “conflict tin”, may be furthering certain unfair labor practices or other human rights in violations the DRC,” said Bruce Moloznik, Alpha’s Vice President Global Marketing. “We are committed to participation in the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative, and we have adopted a due diligence policy designed with the intent of preventing the purchase of conflict minerals from our supply chain that originates in the DRC conflict areas. However, at this time, due to the complexities of the tin supply chain, Alpha cannot verify with 100% certainty the origin of all tin used in its products. Our ultimate goal is to provide complete transparency of our supply chain to our customers. We are targeting Jan. 1st, 2013 to implement documentation of the status of our manufactured materials containing tin.”
As of this date, Alpha and the following companies and entities are committed to participating in the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative: Royal Philips Electronics, Tata Steel, Motorola Solutions, Research In Motion (RIM), AIM Metals & Alloys, Malaysia Smelting Corporation Berhad (MSC), Traxys and ITRI. The Initiative welcomes all companies, including mines, smelters, component manufacturers and product manufacturers (end-users) to join, and its success will be largely measured by the industry participation in the closed-pipe supply system.
About the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative:
An industry initiative was created in Sept. 2012, by the Dutch government which announced the intention to start a conflict-free tin sourcing program in South Kivu, an eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This action was taken during the GeSI and EICC Conflict-Free Minerals Workshop attended by over 175 stakeholders representing Industry, Governments and Civil Society.
The goal of the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative is to establish a pilot that aims to create demand for conflict-free tin from a region whose economy has collapsed due to series of severe internal and cross-border conflicts. Armed groups in the East of the DRC are known to control or tax minerals trade as a source of revenue. Many companies worldwide have shied away from purchasing minerals from some parts of the DRC. Moreover, recent legislation in the United States has created a de facto embargo in the region.
The Initiative introduces a tightly controlled conflict-free supply chain outside the control of the armed groups. It offers a first step towards renewed economic activity and hope to the masses of unemployed miners. Currently, the infrastructure is being put in place in the DRC for this pilot to be able to start. More information about the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative can be found on the official website: http://solutions-network.org/site-cfti.