Confusion over the implications has left misinformed buyers
interpreting the rules as an embargo on the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC).
Cobalt traders are having to explain that their metal and the
raw materials for it come from hundreds of miles away from the
conflict zones in the east.
The jury is still out on the acceptability of up to 95% of
London Metal Exchange tin stocks, as smelters wait to be
audited and declared conflict free, or not.
Within weeks, consumers will have to disclose the use of
material from the DRC and surrounding countries and
describe the due diligence measures they have taken to trace it
back to a safe origin.
(AMM) Intel completes costly conflict-minerals
supply tour- 24 March 2011
Global technology giant Intel Corp. has visited more than
30 smelters since it began its fact-finding mission at the end
of 2010 to learn if any of its suppliers were sourcing metal
from conflict zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
according to a company executive.
"I don't know that we have a complete handle on the whole
supply chain, but we at least have a better handle on the
nuances," Ted Jeffries, director of fab services and
consumables at Intel, told attendees at the Strategic Metals
for National Security and Clean Energy Conference this
***TREVOR TARRING: When is a commodity not a
commodity?- 24 March 2011
This is not a children's riddle. It is a serious question in
the light of the latest moves by the Electronics Industry
Citizenship Coalition (EICC) to stipulate that its members
should not buy conflict minerals after April 1.
To be precise, it will demand that suppliers give an
undertaking that the material in question is not from a
conflict source. That is not quite the same as insisting EICC
members assure themselves that that is the case.
'Don't put cobalt in conflict minerals basket',
say traders- 22 March 2011
Confusion over imminent US regulations regarding the trade of
conflict minerals, and over the areas where cobalt is produced,
has prompted some electronics consumers to request cobalt that
is not sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
traders have told MB.
Cobalt has not been designated as a conflict mineral and is
not included in legislation being passed by the US securities
& exchange commission (SEC) aimed at promoting a more
transparent supply chain from central Africa.
Conflict-free stipulations will start on April 1
- EICC- 22 March 2011
The Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition's (EICC)
conflict-free stipulations will not be delayed and will go
ahead from April 1, the industry body confirmed on Friday amid
reports that the rules would be pushed back due to
The EICC and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSi) are
introducing a conflict-free smelter (CFS) scheme to help
promote a responsible supply chain for tin and tantalum from
MSC braced for DRC exit on conflict-free demands-
11 March 2011
Malaysia Smelting Corp. (MSC) will pull out of central Africa
if it cannot satisfy new ethical stipulations being drawn up by
tin industry consumers, the company confirmed to MB.
Two electronics industry organizations, the Electronics
Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Global
e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), are launching a
Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) audit that effective April 1 will
require full traceability and due diligence on all material
coming from the region.
MSC can't buy from DRC and meet conflict free
requirements - Itri- 09 March 2011
As a result of the conflict free requirements, the involvement
of MSC in the iTCSi traceability scheme is uncertain and
without its support Itri will be unable to continue any
activity in the region, including the expansion of its Kantanga
project and its work in Rwanda, the industry body warned.
DRC won't lift ban on mining until illegal
activity stops - M'Poko- 28 February 2011
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will not lift the ban
on mining and trade in minerals in the volatile eastern
districts of Maniema and North and South Kivu until the
government has succeeded in clamping down on illegal mining,
Bene M'Poko, the DRC's ambassador to South Africa, told
Mining and trade in tungsten, tantalum, coltan and other
minerals has been banned since September 2010, with the
government arguing that rebel groups have been exploiting some
of the world's most sought after minerals to finance military
Tin could hit $40,000 as supply lag worsens, says
MSC's Anuar- 31 January 2011
Tin prices could hit $40,000 per tonne this year as lower
grades restrain mine output and demand stays firm, according to
Mohd Ajib Anuar, ceo and executive director of Malaysia
Smelting Corp (MSC).
It is "not impossible" that tin could climb another $12,000 on
the London Metal Exchange by the end of 2011, he told MB.
Tantalum prices will survive Wodgina restart, shortfall
expected- 20 January 2011
The reopening of Global Advanced Metals' Wodgina tantalum mine
and Greenbushes processing plant in Western Australia poses a
limited threat to the strength of prices, market participants
The long-expected restart of the projects, which supplied 30%
of the world's tantalum in their most recent year of
production, will hold back the pace of price increases but will
not flood the market with new material or drag prices back to
levels seen two years ago, GAM ceo Bryan Ellis told MB.
Itri, TIC call for urgent downstream traceability
funding - 14 January 2011
Itri and the Tantalum-Niobium Study Group (TIC) are calling on
downstream tin and tantalum market participants to contribute
to a traceability scheme as the deadline for the implementation
of US rules around conflict minerals approaches, Itri announced
The industry bodies need "significant" funding for the ITRI
Tin Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi) due diligence scheme in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), they said.
Market wakes up to conflict - 27 December
Conflict minerals, no longer the remit of NGOs and human
rights groups, caught the attention of the entire market last
year, from producers, large trading houses and electronics
companies through to trade and industry groups and the London
Long-standing awareness campaigns combined with soaring
prices, alleged contract reneges, changing consumer behaviour
and outrage among industry association members as tin and
tantalum market participants debated what new US regulations
around the trade of material from conflict zones will mean for
Itri teams up with ICGLR on traceability- 13
Tin industry body Itri has signed an agreement with the
International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to
collaborate on tin traceability and due diligence schemes in
central Africa, Itri announced on Monday.
Both organisations are working to limit opportunities for
armed groups in the area to benefit financially from the
production and trade of minerals, Itri said.
LME meets Itri over conflict minerals rules - 29
The London Metal Exchange has held discussions with at least
one tin industry group regarding new regulations from the US
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that deal with the
trade of material from conflict zones in central Africa, market
"There is the challenge for metal on the LME or elsewhere, that
if someone buys it, how do they identify the provenance? It's
not like in tantalum which does not have a terminal market;
it's a bit of a unique problem for tin," a market source told
Tin market waits for outcome of smelter audit at
MSC -15 November 2010
The vast majority of tin stocks in London Metal
Exchange-bonded warehouses may become unacceptable to the
international market if Malaysia Smelting Corp (MSC) cannot
meet strict new ethical stipulations, market participants told
The company, which is part of industry body Itri's
traceability scheme, says it has written to all its suppliers
of tin concentrates from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
asking for written clarification of the legitimacy of their
LME tin gains 2.4% as Itri predicts DRC embargo-
09 November 2010
Tin exceeded its opening price by 2.4% in Tuesday's official
trading on the London Metal Exchange, a day after industry body
Itri announced that the market will refuse to accept
untraceable material from the Democratic Republic of Congo and
surrounding countries from April 2011.
"It will add more flame to the fire, especially if you're a
bit short," a category II trader told MB.
US conflict mineral rules will create DRC embargo: Itri - 08
US regulations around conflict minerals will impose an
effective embargo on tin- and tantalum-containing minerals from
parts of central Africa when they are implemented in April, tin
industry body Itri announced on Monday.
Itri and the Tantalum-Niobium Study Group (TIC) have been
forced to set a March 2011 deadline on their iTSCi traceability
programme, and the material they cannot tag in time will be
unacceptable to the market, Itri said.
***SPOTLIGHT: OECD guide on conflict minerals
will support US rules -08 November 2010
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development's
(OECD) guidelines on conflict minerals, scheduled for approval
this month and official recommendation in January 2011, will be
read carefully by tantalum market participants long plagued by
controversy around mining in the Democratic Republic of
Prices for the minor metal have more than doubled since the
start of 2010, amid escalating concerns about central African
conflict zones, and electronic companies' fears of finding
conflict tantalum in their highly-prized gadgets.
LME's Abbott warns of affect on tin of conflict
mineral rule- 04 November 2010
Conflict mineral regulation included in the Dodd-Frank Act
could have repercussions for the secondary tin market,
according to London Metal Exchange chief executive Martin
"At the moment there is no constraint on tin from the current
legislation," Abbott said. "At the moment there is no penalty
attached. That is such a weak position there should be a plan
to follow through with sanctions."
Gippsland quits TIC citing conflict minerals
concerns - 20 September 2010
Gippsland has resigned from the Tantalum Niobium
International Study Centre (TIC), citing concerns over the
alleged involvement of other members in the trade of metals
from conflict zones, the company announced on Monday.
"Gippsland Ltd advises that it has resigned from the
Belgium-based Tantalum Niobium International Study Center
effective immediately as the directors have formed the opinion
that the TIC no longer represents the interests of the majority
of the world's ethical tantalum miners," the Australian
resource group said.
Electronics companies can halt 'blood tantalum'
problem, says Commerce head- 15 September 2010
Tantalum consumers could avoid controversy surrounding the
trade of conflict material by owning tantalum-containing
minerals that are still in the ground, according to Commerce
Resources president and director David Hodge.
The company is suggesting the solution to remove the necessity
to buy cheap material from conflict zones in central Africa,
including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Hodge told MB
in an interview in Vancouver, Canada, last week.
TIC members could defect to MMTA amid conflict
mineral fears - 30 August 2010
The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (TIC) could
lose some of its members to the Minor Metals Trade Assn (MMTA),
amid controversy over the agenda for its upcoming general
assembly, market participants told MB. The event, being
held in Nevada this October, will include a tour of the
operations of Niotan Inc, a TIC member based in Nevada.
Niotan director John Crawley was named in a United Nations
(UN) Security Council report published in late 2009. Crawley is
also a director of Refractory Metals Mining Co (RMMC), which
the report linked to the trade of coltan - tantalum-containing
material - from central African conflict