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© alexander podshivalov dreamstime.com General | October 08, 2013

Growing participation in iTSCi conflict mineral programme

iTSCi sets another milestone in the continually growing support for the supply chain initiative membership Programme.
From just a handful of supporters in 2011, the programme has now achieved 130 participating companies in a truly global system stretching across 23 different countries.

The iTSCi Programme helps companies to manage conflict related concerns in the upstream supply chain from mine to smelter, and has successfully attracted membership from every step in this chain. These ‘Full Member’ companies range from African co-operatives of artisanal miners, through small companies with few employees, to large mineral traders and mineral smelters.

iTSCi also brings companies together across the supply chain by providing downstream metal buyers with an opportunity to contribute and work constructively on the sometimes complex requirements of due diligence with their suppliers as ‘Associate Members’ of the Programme.

A total of 73 upstream companies have now been through the process of independent evaluation for conflict links and have been accepted into the Programme as Full Members by the Governance Committee; all of whom have shown a commitment to progressively improving their own due diligence practices and passing that knowledge down to theirs suppliers via conflict minerals policies and due diligence management plans. A further, 49 companies are also keen to join the system and are participating in the evaluation process.

A further 8 downstream companies have joined as Associate Members in order to show support for conflict-free sourcing from the central African region, keep abreast of activities and security issues and contribute to vitally needed financing of the Programme. The iTSCi Programme is proud to list the following companies amongst its Associate Membership: AVX Limited, BlackBerry Limited, The Boeing Company, Motorola Solutions Inc., NEC TOKIN Corporation and Qualcomm Technologies Inc.

Mike Loch, Director Supply Chain Sustainability for Motorola Solutions Inc. explained that “Participating in the iTSCi Programme is important to Motorola Solutions strategy of supporting programs that allow legitimate sourcing from the DRC and Great Lakes Region. The iTSCi Programme permits artisanally mined conflict free minerals to flow from the region and enter the global supply chain. This enables miners to work and provides an economic benefit to the communities where they have implemented the Programme.”

Another Associate member, Melinda Painter, Director Supply Chain Social Responsibility & Diversity for BlackBerry added that “BlackBerry is dedicated to maintaining a socially and environmentally responsible supply chain. Responsible sourcing is an important part of this commitment, and we value the work that iTSCi does to promote the responsible sourcing of minerals from the DRC region as well as their efforts to help organizations like ours enhance their own due diligence activities.”

Kay Nimmo, Manager of Sustainability at ITRI remarked that “We aim to bring transparency and best practice to the extraction and trade of minerals from central Africa and by assisting companies to source metals responsibly we hope that total disengagement from the Great Lakes Region can be avoided. We are extremely pleased that such a wide range and large number of companies continue to choose to participate and support the much needed artisanal mining livelihood option for many thousands of Africans workers and their dependents. All companies are welcome to join.”

iTSCi is currently operating in around 500 areas, representing 1000's of mine sites in Rwanda and Katanga, Maniema and South Kivu Provinces, DRC and the ~45,000 diggers producing it, as well as their dependents (typically considered to be 5 per digger). iTSCi provides access to market at international prices for several thousand tonnes of mineral each year.

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