As a leading company in the tantalum industry, we are committed to ensuring that the tantalum under our control is responsibly and ethically sourced.
Over the last decade, quantities of tantalum (and other "conflict" metals such as tin, tungsten and gold)have entered the global supply chain from locations, particularly war-torn parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the ore has been mined illegally or without regard and commitment to health, safety, environment, labour conditions and human rights.
We have had a long-term commitment to working closely with our industry, including the end-users of tantalum products, to put in place strategies that will ensure the responsible supply of tantalum material.
For this reason we are an active member of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and support its creation of a comprehensive set of tools and processes to enable the credible implementation of a Code of Conduct throughout the Electronics and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) supply chain. We adhere closely to the Conflict Minerals policies of the EICC and participate actively in the Conflict Free Smelter program.
Solutions for Hope Project
We recently joined The Solutions for Hope Project with component manufacturer AVX Corporation and leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Motorola Solutions, Intel, RIM, Nokia and HP to source conflict-free material from the DRC.
This project is the first in any industry to validate a closed tantalum pipe process, assuring all products contain only conflict-free tantalum in accordance with the principles of the US Government's Dodd-Frank "Conflict Mineral" legislation and current Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidance for "Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas."
The closed pipe process mines tantalum in a particular mining area in the Katanga province of the DRC. The material is managed in compliance with acceptable guidelines and then shipped to an EICC/ GeSI conflict-free verified smelter/ processor.
In December 2010, Global Advanced Metal's tantalum processing plants in the USA and Japan were the first, of any metal type, to be audited and declared "Conflict Free" by the EICC/GeSI Conflict Free Smelter program. In mid-2012, we will process our first shipment of validated conflict-free tantalite ore mined from the Mai Baridi/Luba mine complex in the Katanga region of the DRC.
Mai Baridi/Luba uses the ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative's (iTSCi) "bag and tag" scheme, which subjects all tantalum ore set for export to a final-stage independent on-the-ground assessment.
The Solutions for Hope Project remains the only project to exclusively use EICC/GeSI validated Conflict Free Smelters for processing tantalum ore into capacitor-grade materials.
This project will continue to be to evaluated by participants so that lessons learned can be embedded into other initiatives and the program can be improved and expanded.