Today, Pact released a report detailing the state of conflict-free minerals in The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. The report provides an in-depth look at traceability and due diligence, as well as on-the-ground progress and challenges.
Throughout Africa’s Great Lakes region, the international community has closely watched, and regulated, the extraction and sale of conflict minerals – tin, tungsten tantalum (3Ts) and gold – in the hopes of curtailing ongoing violence.
In 2010, Pact, an international development nonprofit, along with regional governments, companies and other partners, began implementing the joint industry traceability and due diligence system developed by ITRI (the nonprofit global tin industry association) known as iTSCi (ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative).
“In the five years since the partnership began, iTSCi has protected and improved the lives of tens of thousands of miners across hundreds of mines,” said Yves Bawa, regional director for Congo, Rwanda and Burundi and iTSCi program manager at Pact.
Today, the system includes more than 1,300 mine sites, of which close to 850 are currently active and supporting at least 80,000 miners.
“Implementation has not always been easy due to the challenging local environment and the level of political interest in the issue, but five years later, through the hard work of everyone involved in the program, the iTSCi system has been implemented in what were once considered some of the most difficult areas of the Great Lakes,” said Kay Nimmo, Manager of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs, ITRI.
The report, Unconflicted: Making Conflict-free Mining a Reality in the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi, calls for continued dedication and effort from local governments, mineral traders and corporations in order to maintain progress. But it doesn’t gloss over the challenges.
“As a Congolese citizen, I’m very proud of what we have achieved in my country,” says Bawa. “However, there are many important socioeconomic issues connected to mineral supply chains. We need to not only support traceability and due diligence, but overlay desperately needed development programs for miners, their families and communities.”
For more information about Pact’s work in mining globally, visit www.pactworld.org/mining.
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About Pact – Pact is a promise of a better tomorrow for all those who are poor and marginalized. Working in partnership to develop local solutions that enable people to own their own future, Pact helps people and communities build their capacity to generate income, improve access to quality health services, and gain lasting benefit from the sustainable use of the natural resources around them. At work in more than 25 countries, Pact is building local promise with an integrated, adaptive approach that is shaping the future of international development. Visit us at www.pactworld.org.