The tin industry, along with the three other so-called conflict minerals (gold, tantalum and tungsten) sectors have actively developed initiatives to prevent conflict minerals from the Great Lakes Region entering the supply chain.
Alphamin’s compliance to all the Dodd-Frank regulations, ensures that Alphamin tin will only be able to be sold through legitimate channels, thus rendering stolen or misappropriated tin worth much less in the open market.
These initiatives have been developed in tandem with:
- US legislation under the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1502.
- The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
- The International Conference for the Great Lakes Region and its Regional Certification Mechanism, which includes the DRC, Rwanda and 11 other Central African states.
- Congolese and Rwandan legal reforms to mandate conflict-free certification and traceability so that tin and other conflict-mineral end-users elsewhere in the world can demonstrate due diligence related to conflict-financing linkages.
- The GDRC and DRC donor pilot projects implementing conflict-free certification and traceability systems to assure chain of custody over exports from the artisanal mine site to the smelter or refiner.
Through these initiatives, global tin and other conflict-mineral global supply chains have recognised the issue of illegal mining and the ability of criminal public security and armed groups to source financing from the production and trade of conflict minerals in the Great Lakes region. Within the industry, burden of proof falls primarily on supply chain operators and exporters to prove the direct source of the cassiterite produced for smelting. Material which is not traceable to its direct source is significantly discounted in the open market, since global smelters are under increasing pressure to conduct due diligence to assure certification and chain of custody. The European Union is currently finalising legislation that will mandate similar levels of due diligence of tin and other conflict minerals throughout the world, not just in the Central African Great Lakes (the current focus of US legislation).
The complexities of certifying the source of cassiterite make the product less appealing to armed groups and so reduces the risk of an attack on the mine or transporters with the intention to steal the final product. In addition, experience of industrial mines in Katanga and the eastern DRC over the last decade indicate a positive ripple effect of improved security and human rights around industrial mine sites, which dissuades criminal organisations and armed groups from focusing on industrial operations.