JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – An owner of Uganda’s only tungsten mine is suing the International Tin Association for defamation, saying the certifier wrongly accused it of trading in conflict minerals, court documents seen by Reuters show.
The association’s International Tin Supply Chain Initiative (ITSCI) program, used by companies such as Apple, was introduced after the 2008 financial crisis to certify minerals in response to regulation which obliged U.S. companies to vet their supply chains.
The International Tin Association’s Kay Nimmo, who leads the ITSCI program, said in an email she had no immediate comment.
The ITSCI program, which dominates mineral certification in conflict-ridden central Africa, aims to create mineral supply chains that avoid contributing to conflict, human rights abuses, or other risks such as bribery, according to its website.
Kerilee Investments, the British-based majority shareholder in Uganda-based KI3R, which owns the Nyamuliro tungsten mine, says it was damaged by ITSCI’s malign abuse of its alerting system and negligence in investigation and reporting.