What are conflict minerals?
Conflict minerals often are referenced to as “3TG” but actually refer to tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. More specifically speaking, the minerals in question are cassiterite, used in the production of tin, wolframite, used in the production of tungsten, coltan, used in the production of tantalum, and gold ore.
While these minerals alone are not conflicted, the methods in which they are extracted often helps fund conflict. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, armed rebel groups exploit these minerals for economic gain to help fund their activities and create serious human rights violations in the region.
How are conflict minerals used?
Conflict minerals are used in many products around the world, including cell phones, televisions, radios, jewelry, automobiles, aerospace and medical applications. However, not all sources of these minerals are associated with funding conflict. In 2010, the U.S. government passed the Dodd-Frank Act which requires companies to disclose any use of conflict minerals if they are “necessary to the functionality or production of a product.” Now more than ever, consumers are becoming aware of the source of their products, and want to ensure that responsible mining practices are used to derive the materials in their products.
About Responsible Trade LLC
Responsible Trade LLC supports entities wishing to implement practical due diligence when the products they produce contain any tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold. We provide support along the supply chain across the globe, from the mine to the brand company, and at all levels in between.
We recognize that sourcing from conflict regions not only is necessary to continue the supply of certain minerals, but also to ensure the sustainability of hard-working individuals who strive to make an honest, conflict-free living. That’s why, in addition to compliance and audits, we support the development and implementation of systems that enable sourcing from conflict-affected and high-risk areas, connecting the supply chain actors to provide assurance that these materials truly are responsibly sourced.
Mike Loch, President
Mike has more than 25 years of industry experience and is a recognized leader in the field of sustainability with immense success in developing and launching comprehensive strategies and turning them into world-class programs. He has extensive international experience, demonstrated global leadership and a strong record of accomplishments across numerous international organizations and cultures.
Areas of expertise include:
- Conflict minerals
- Supply chain sustainability
- Operational environmental, health and safety management
- International standards, ISO, IEC and OECD
- Management systems audits
- Green manufacturing
Mike has extensive experience in the field of conflict minerals, and has served in numerous leadership positions in the development and launch of several global conflict minerals initiatives. He was a member of the Governance Committee of the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, and he served as co-chair of the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative for more than seven years, during which the CFSI developed the Conflict Free Smelter Program and Conflict Minerals Reporting Template. Mike has been active in development of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas and served as the industry representative on the OECD Forum’s Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group. He has participated in numerous meetings with U.S. Government officials including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Department of State, Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Congressional leaders who sponsored section 1502 of Dodd Frank.
During his trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, Mike visited mine sites, trading houses, non-government organizations (NGO) and regional governmental representatives to gain a local perspective of the issues and challenges. Mike continues to work with numerous stakeholders including the state department, civil society and Central African government entities to assist in improving conditions on the ground.
Mike led the development and launch of the Solutions for Hope project in conjunction with a major supplier of tantalum capacitors to source conflict-free tantalum from the DRC. The program was recognized by governments and international organizations including the State Department, GAO, OECD and the Enough Project. This program now is supported by numerous other multi-national corporations.
Mike also has experience on international standards development. He chaired the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) TC111 and chaired the IEC’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Aspects (ACEA), a committee of 12 environmental experts appointed by their respective country’s national committee.
For information on how Responsible Trade LLC can assist your company in securing its supply chain, or to learn more about conflict minerals, please contact us at:
Phone: +1 847-533 9701