JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Tin-mining companies that certified their ore against conflict were receiving prices double those of noncertified participants, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Peter Harrell said on Tuesday.
“Miners participating in that scheme are earning $4/kg for tin ore compared to $2/kg for noncertified tin ore,” Harrell said, referring to a tin-led initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) South Kivu region to tag and certify tin ore from conflict-free mines.
Harrell was speaking from Washington in a telephonic press conference call on compliance with the conflict minerals provisions of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires companies listed on US stock exchanges to assure that tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sourced from Africa’s Great Lakes region have not funded conflict.
USAID DRC mission director Diana Putman, who joined the discussion from Kinshasa, said 150 mine sites in the DRC were currently in the traceability system and being accepted as conflict free by smelters in Asia, Europe and the US.
“But that is only 10% or less of the mine sites in the east, so there’s still a lot more work to do,” Putman said.
To cover an increasing number of sites, the USAID and other donors are helping the national DRC Mines Ministry to improve its capacity to implement conflict-free traceability.
The European Union, African Development Bank, Germany and Australia were assisting the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to strengthen the regional certification mechanism, including third-party auditing and monitoring.
The results of pilot efforts in the DRC and Rwanda have demonstrated that the Great Lakes economy can generate more growth from the conflict-free system, increasing revenues from mining exporters and government.
South African-born Tinco CEO Brian Menell told Mining Weekly Online last year that while tagging and certification were tedious and expensive, their enforcement was having the desired affect in Rwanda.
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