'Conflict-Free' Metals Program Extends Congolose Reach | Print |  E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 14:28

MANIEMA PROVINCE, DRC -- Mines in second province here in the Democratic Republic of Congo are gaining final approvals for shipping tin and other ores to Western nations. Most of the war-torn country's mines have faced international bans that prevented Western companies from buying or trading in minerals from the DRC.

Expansion into the Province of Maniema that will enable a growing number of communities in the DRC to access international markets for their conflict-free minerals, the backers of the iTSCi Program said.

The year-old effort spawned by the Dutch government and key electronics industry OEMs and suppliers has attempted to reopen supply chains to certain mines in order to mitigate the unintended consequences of punishing the local workers for problems elsewhere in the country.

With the inclusion of Maniema, the iTSCi Program has now been implemented in Katanga, and two of the three tin-producing provinces in Eastern DRC. Earlier this week the program announced the shipment of the first ores from a certified mine in South Kivu.

The map below shows a higlighted South Kivu. Maniema is to the west, and Katanga to the south.

Preparations for the launch of the project have been underway for the past few weeks, including local stakeholder meetings and training workshops for the DRC Government services that will operate the tagging system. The first tags were applied at a launch ceremony today.

In a statement, DRC Provincial Minister of Mines Patrick Amisi said, “The project will help our mining industry to meet international standards and access international mineral markets at fair prices. The local communities will benefit from renewed opportunities for income which will support the economy of the Province and maximize revenues. We are so pleased that the opportunity for our population to return to work in the mines will above all help with stabilization and security.”

For the first few months the iTSC Program will begin at sites situated in the central area of the province, including the Kalima and Kailo territories, which have already been subject to independent and government assessments confirming that there are no concerns over conflict-related issues. The program will extend to other sites as further funding sources become available, iTSC said.






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