April 21 Major tin producers have agreed to
begin reporting on compliance with a new code of conduct
starting from third-quarter 2017, an industry body said, seeking
to boost supply chain credentials ahead of new European rules on
responsible sourcing of ore.
Ten producers have signed up to the code, which will cover
environmental performance, protection of human rights and
responsible metal production among other elements, and will be a
prerequisite for membership of the International Tin Research
Institute (ITRI), the London-based body said on Friday.
"The tin industry has an unusually high proportion of
artisanal mining and this presents particular challenges in
assessing and making improvements in the supply chain," ITRI
"ITRI and its members are committed to...engage and
encourage positive change among the many small operators and
artisanal miners whose livelihoods depend on the mineral sector
and who make an important contribution to tin supply."
The spotlight has grown in recent years on minerals sourced
from conflict areas. The European Union approved draft
regulations to prevent trade in minerals from such areas last
month, due to come into force from 2021.
The United States is meanwhile reviewing its conflict
minerals rules, and has suspended enforcement of the costliest
elements of the regulations in the meantime. The change in
stance followed the election of President Donald Trump, who has
vowed to cut costs for business.
As far back as 2010, the ITRI launched a supply chain
initiative covering conflict areas including the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
In the past few years however, Myanmar has become one of the
world's top tin suppliers. Much of its ore comes from an area
controlled by an insurgent army that the U.S. sanctioned in 2003
for narcotics trafficking.
The companies that have signed up to the ITRI reporting plan
are Bluestone Mines Tasmania; Fenix Metals of Poland; Malaysia
Smelting Corporation Bhd and its unit Rahman Hydraulic
Tin Sdn Bhd; Belgium's Metallo-Chimique; Mineração Taboca S/A of
Brazil; Peru's Minsur S.A.; Bolivia's Operaciones
Metalúrgicas SA (OMSA); Indonesia's PT Timah; Thailand
Smelting & Refining Company Limited and Yunnan Tin Group
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)