Interconnected supply chains: a comprehensive look at due diligence challenges and opportunities sourcing cobalt and copper from the Democratic Republic of the Congo





Date of publication

15 November 2019





About the report

This OECD report examines risks prevalent in cobalt and copper sourcing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as strategies for building more responsible mineral supply chains. The report highlights often-overlooked links in the supply chain, challenging assumptions that industrial and artisanal mining and refining are entirely distinct. It raises concerns about the low level of scrutiny of some risks and calls upon copper and cobalt users to extend due diligence beyond child labour to include corruption and human rights risks associated with security forces. 


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The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains

The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas clarifies how companies can identify and better manage risks throughout the entire mineral supply chain, from miners, local exporters and mineral processors to the manufacturing and brand-name companies that use these minerals in their products.  


The Guidance aims to help companies respect human rights, observe applicable rules of international humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict, avoid contributing to conflict and cultivate transparent mineral supply chains and sustainable corporate engagement in the mineral sector. The objective of the Guidance is ultimately to promote responsible private sector engagement in post-conflict fragile states.


The Guidance is applicable to all minerals and global in scope. Companies sourcing or using minerals in their operations are expected to ensure their supply chains are responsible and transparent. 


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