As part of its continued efforts to help the Democratic Republic of Congo break the link between the minerals trade and armed groups, the US government will formally launch the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA) next month in Washington, DC.
According to a fact sheet, the PPA aims to combine the financial and technical resources of governments, companies, trade associations, civil society, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in support of three goals:
Assisting with the development of pilot supply chain systems that will allow businesses to source minerals from mines that have been audited and certified to be conflict-free.'
Providing a platform for coordination amongst government, industry, and civil society actors seeking to support conflict-free sourcing from the DRC.
Establishing a website designed to serve as a resource for companies seeking information regarding how to responsibly source minerals from the DRC.
"Conflict minerals" minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold that are sourced from unstable regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries threaten a variety of manufacturing supply chains, and it's great to see that a total of 21 companies, trade associations and organizations have expressed their intention to join in the PPA.
Final participation of these and other potential participants is subject to the due diligence processes of the US government and other members and approval of a Memorandum of Understanding by all participants. As it stands now, though, the list of 21 includes:
1. Advanced Micro Devices
2. Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)
3. Enough Project
4. Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)
5. H.C. Starck
7. International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR)
9. ITRI on behalf of the iTSCi project
10. Jewish World Watch
11. Motorola Solutions, Inc.
14. Partnership Africa Canada / Partenariat Afrique Canada
15. Responsible Sourcing Network
16. Sony Corporation
19. Toshiba Corporation
20. Verizon Communications
21. World Gold Council
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to invest approximately $3.2 million in the work of the PPA, specifically to support conflict-free minerals certification and traceability. In addition, USAID says its goal is for companies and industry associations to invest $2 million or more in funding by the end of 2012; more than $700,000 toward this goal already has been pledged.