OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas




The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains

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The OECD Due Diligence Guidance provides detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices. This Guidance is for use by any company potentially sourcing minerals or metals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. The OECD Guidance is global in scope, and applies to all mineral supply chains.


The 3rd Edition of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance was published in April 2016. This booklet contains the OECD Council Recommendation, the text of the Guidance, the 3Ts Supplement and the Gold Supplement. The updated version clarifies that the Guidance provides a framework for detailed due diligence as a basis for responsible supply chain management of minerals, including tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, as well as all other mineral resources.  


In addition to the 35 OECD Members, 8 non-Members, namely Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Lithuania, Morocco, Peru and Romania, adhered to the Council Recommendation.


> Download a short overview Englishfrançais

> Download an infographic on the 5-step framework for supply chains

An international standard

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. 

Press Release: SEC Adopts Rule for Disclosing Use of Conflict Minerals


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.

Lusaka Declaration [français]


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.





In focus


Event: Responsible sourcing of gold in India


On December 6, 2019, the OECD and the India Gold Policy Centre at IIM Ahmedabad will organise a workshop on responsible sourcing of gold in India, with the support of the Indian Bullion and Jewellers Association. The event will take place at the India Habitat Centre.


Interconnected supply chains: a comprehensive look at due diligence challenges and opportunities sourcing cobalt and copper from the DRC

This new 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 the often-overlooked links in the supply chain, challenging assumptions that industrial and artisanal mining and refining are entirely distinct. 


An introduction to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for upstream actors


Guide OCDE sur le devoir de diligence pour des chaines d'approvisionnement responsables en minerais

This simplified guide explains the basic elements of due diligence for upstream actors in mineral supply chains, in line with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. It is intended for use by upstream supply chain actors including, among others:

Miners: Artisanal and small-scale mining entities (ASM) and Large scale mining entities (LSM)
Traders: Processors or other treatment/conversion entities; Mineral trading houses and exporters; International commodity traders
Points of transformation: Smelters/Refiners


International Responsible Business Conduct Agreement for the Metals Sector

The multi-stakeholder International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector was launched in The Hague on 23 May 2019. The main goal of the agreement is to promote international responsible business conduct and address severe negative impact to people and the environment connected to the metals supply chains which the participants would otherwise not be able to tackle on our own. The signatories to the agreement are companies, the government, industry associations, NGOs and trade unions.


Article : “Congo, child labour and your electric car”


Car makers should know the source of their cobalt and lean on their suppliers to improve conditions on the ground, says Tyler Gillard, head of the OECD’s responsible business conduct unit.

“We are supportive of industry efforts to engage with the mining community, despite the risk. The challenge is how to manage that risk and communicate it properly. Disengagement is not the right approach, but the threat of disengagement has to be real and combined with technical and financial support to drive improvement.”


Stakeholder Statement on Implementing Gender-Responsive Due Diligence and ensuring the human rights of women in Mineral Supply Chains

Prepared by Women’s Rights and Mining together with the OECD Secretariat, the statement takes into account input from members of the OECD Multi-stakeholder Steering Group and comments from participants in the session “applying a gender lens to due diligence and responsible mineral supply chains”, including over 50 civil society representatives in attendance from around the world, held during the 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.

Read the statement : English | French


The Responsible Jewellery Council revises Code of Practices to include due diligence requirements based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance

The RJC launched its new code of practices, which defines responsible, social and environmental business practices for companies in the jewellery supply chain and commits members to adhere to a robust set of comprehensive auditable standards.

This revision includes the alignment of due diligence requirements with the OECD Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, a comprehensive due diligence approach tailored to the diamonds and coloured gemstones supply chains. 


The London Metal Exchange is committing to the introduction of responsible sourcing requirements to its brand lists, in line with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance

The LME launched formal market-wide consultation on proposed rules for the application of responsible sourcing principles to all LME-listed brands.

LME’s approach is grounded in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains and will require all of its listed brands to undertake an OECD Red Flag Assessment by the end of 2020.


13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains


23-26 April 2019 - The 2019 Forum will bring together over 1,200 stakeholders to focus on measuring impact and driving change, opportunities and challenges related to specific minerals such as diamonds, base metals, cobalt, 3Ts and gold, and regulatory and policy updates related to responsible sourcing.


Blog - Time to step up: Responsible sourcing in battery supply chains, Andrew Britton, Kumi

"Downstream brands and battery manufacturers need now to ‘walk the talk’ on responsible sourcing. As the OECD Guidance for responsible mineral supply chains makes clear, companies always retain individual responsibility for due diligence"


L’or à la croisée des chemins : Étude d’évaluation des chaînes d’approvisionnement en or produit au Burkina Faso, au Mali et au Niger

L’objectif général de l’étude est de promouvoir la responsabilité des acteurs économiques, la traçabilité et la transparence dans les chaînes d’approvisionnement en minerais d’or produits dans les États membres de l’ALG. 


LME proposes requirements for responsible sourcing of metal in listed brandsThe London Metal Exchange (LME) released their position paper on responsible sourcing of metals, proposing OECD-based due diligence requirements for brands delivering on its exchange.


Public Consultation for the Revision of the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM)The RCM sets forth the rules and procedures for mine-site inspections, chain of custody systems, and exporter audits for 3TG from the Great Lakes Region. The deadline for comments on the revised draft is 7 October 2018.     


CRAFT: a path toward responsible sourcing and progressive improvement in artisanal miningCRAFT was designed to closely reflect the risks outlined in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, as well as other major issues of concern from industry and civil society.  


OECD Portal for Supply Chain Risk Information                          As implementation of the Due Diligence Guidance expands stakeholders are asking for tools to help identify these risks. The Portal will help companies understand risks in their supply chains and to prioritise those risks to enable a more efficient and effective due diligence process. A beta version is expected to go online by early 2019.


The due diligence guidance in a nutshell


Responsible Minerals Initiative / Responsible Minerals Assurance Process 

 DMCC’s Responsible Sourcing of Precious Metals

International Tin Supply Chain Initiative (ITSCI) 

London Bullion Market Association’s Program


Responsible Jewellery Council’s Certification


World Gold Council’s Conflict-Free Gold Standard




Minerals due diligence tools and materials

Due diligence guidance
Minerals alignment assessment 
Sourcing gold from artisanal and small scale miners 
Due diligence flyer

 Due Diligence Guidance cover page 150x216

English | Français | Español| German | 官话 | 한국인 日本語 | Türk  


Minerals Alignment Assessment Cover Preliminary 150x212

English | Français 


FAQ on sourcing gold from artisanal and small scale miners 150x213

 English | Français | Español 


Responsible Mineral Supply Chains Flyer 150x212

  English | Français 


Practical actions for worst forms of child labour in mineral supply chains
Due diligence in Colombia's gold supply chain
Mineral supply chain and conflict links in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Chinese due diligence guidelines for responsible mineral supply chains

Practical actions for worst forms child labour mining sector 150x212



Due diligence in colombia gold supply chain 150x212

 English | Español


 Mineral Supply Chains DRC Due Diligence 150x212

 English | Français 


 Chinese due diligence guidelines 150x212

English | 官话 








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