iTSCi announced the start of its industry program for traceability and due diligence in of tin, tantalum and tungsten in two areas of North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo; in the remotest mines in Lubero territory north of the provincial capital of Goma and in the most historically infamous conflict minerals mining areas of Walikale […]
iTSCi announced the start of its industry program for traceability and due diligence in of tin, tantalum and tungsten in two areas of North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo; in the remotest mines in Lubero territory north of the provincial capital of Goma and in the most historically infamous conflict minerals mining areas of Walikale territory, west of Goma.
As quoted in the press release:
For several years, from around 2006 to 2009, the Bisie mine in Walikale reportedly produced around three quarters of the cassiterite from the entire central African region and was alleged to be controlled by various military groups including brigades of the Congolese army. Soldiers were reported to be both physically present in the mine as well as collecting payments from miners and traders at roadblocks along the transport routes. This situation was the main driver of the ‘conflict minerals’ campaigns of NGO’s and their support for the Dodd Frank Act, as well as the cause of key buyers leaving the area, and the start of a de-facto embargo on the province from 2011.
Four years on, much has now changed in the local situation, and, following the official validation of areas worked by artisanal miners across Walikale as ‘green’ by a team of stakeholders, those mines will now be integrated into the iTSCi Programme to enable conflict-free minerals to be exported to responsible buyers in the international market. Bisie is not included in this extension of iTSCi since an industrial mine is being developed on that site with significant large scale production expected to begin in 2018, representing a new kind of economic opportunity for the area.
Kay Nimmo, from the iTSCi governance committee, commented:
Implementing due diligence through iTSCi across the entire central African region has been a difficult process, with many challenges and ups and downs along the way. It is tremendously satisfying to know that we can now get back to work in the area that was intended to be the original iTSCi pilot in 2010, and the entire team and partners are delighted with this most important of all milestones in the progress of our work.