An International Standard : OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains
As the leading international standard, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains is referenced in a range of international declarations, regulations and initiatives.
The Mosi-oa-Tunya Declaration (FR), adopted on 13 September 2018 at the International Conference on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining and Quarrying (ASM18), called on the national, regional and international private sector to ensure production and sourcing practices do not contribute to adverse human rights or conflict and its financing, through the implementation of instruments such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance in all mineral supply chains. Approved by five-hundred and forty-seven delegates, representing 72 nations assembled in Livingstone, Zambia, the 'Mosi' Declaration uses the traditional name of Victoria Falls and builds on earlier ASM conference declarations from Harare (1993), Washington (1996), and Yaoundé (2002).
In May 2017, the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) 2017/821. The Regulation lays down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas in accordance with the 5 steps of the OECD Guidance. The EU Regulation will enter into force in January 2021.
The Chinese Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, based on the OECD Guidance, were adopted in December 2015 at a workshop in Beijing. The Guidelines are designed to align Chinese company due diligence with international standards and allow for mutual recognition with existing international initiatives and legislations.
In 2012, the US Securities and Exchange Commission recognised the OECD Guidance as an international framework for due diligence measures undertaken by companies that are required to file a conflict minerals report under the final rule implementing section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank legislation. The US Department of State endorses the Guidance and encourages companies to draw upon it as they establish their due diligence practices.
The Lusaka Declaration signed by 11 Heads of State of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in December 2010 states the processes and standards of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance will be integrated into the six tools of the Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources. The governments of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda have integrated it into their legal frameworks.
The United Nations Security Council resolution 1952 (2010) supports taking forward the due diligence recommendations contained in the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo final report, which endorses and relies on the OECD Guidance. Numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Democratic Republic of Congo – 2389(2017), 2360(2017), 2339(2017), 2293(2016), 2262(2016), 2198(2015), 2136(2014) 2078(2012) and 2021(2011) – and on Cote d’Ivoire - 2219 (2015), 2153 (2014), 2101 (2013) cite the OECD Guidance and encourage all States, particularly those in the region, to continue to raise awareness of the due diligence guidelines, and to stakeholders in the supply chain to exercise due diligence.
Industry programmes based on the Guidance
Although individual companies bear the primary responsibility for implementation of due diligence, industry actors have developed a series of programmes specifically focusing on the smelting / refining stage, which has been identified by relevant stakeholders as the ‘choke point’ of 3TG supply chains. Five of the leading programmes have been assessed for their alignment with the Guidance and are currently undergoing revisions based on the recommendations of the assessment. These programmes together account for over 90% of gold refining, 95% of tantalum and 85% of tin production.
|For more information contact: Hannah Koep-Andrieu|