THE ITSCI LAUNDROMAT: HOW A DUE DILIGENCE SCHEME APPEARS TO LAUNDER CONFLICT MINERALS

On 28 April, a report from Global Witness explains that minerals extracted by hand from the African Great Lakes region are in huge demand. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda produce nearly half the world’s coltan, the main ore of tantalum, as well as large amounts of tin and tungsten ores – collectively known as 3T minerals. The metals obtained from the smelted 3T minerals are widely used in electronic equipment such as mobile phones, computers and automotive and aeronautical systems.  Due to concerns, industry interests set up traceability systems which, working alongside government validation of mines, were intended to establish a supply of “conflict-free”, responsibly sourced minerals.  However, the report contains evidence of how the most widely used of these schemes – the International Tin Supply Chain Initiative (ITSCI), established in 2009 – appears to facilitate the laundering of minerals originating from mines controlled by abusive militias or that use child labour.  Furthermore, it is said that the scheme many international companies are relying on to source responsibly, is also used to launder huge amounts of minerals that have been smuggled and trafficked, new evidence suggests.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/natural-resource-governance/itsci-laundromat/

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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