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.