congo miners far away

Briefing / March 18, 2015

Reform in the Great Lakes

Momentum generated by the passage of Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act has led to domestic reforms in the Great Lakes region’s mineral sector.

In February 2012, the Congolese government introduced domestic legislation requiring companies operating in its domestic tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold mining sectors to undertake supply chain due diligence according to the OECD standard.

Eleven other African states, including Rwanda, Angola and Central African Republic, have also established measures requiring companies to source minerals responsibly.

In the Great Lakes region, companies have begun to engage in closed-pipe supply chain projects, whereby businesses all along the supply chain, from mine to final product, work together to identify and manage risks at specific mines and along trading routes with the aim of creating a clean mineral supply.

Key examples of these developments are:

  • A private sector-led due diligence-based mineral bagging and tagging scheme is operating at certain mines in four provinces in Congo. Other companies hope to initiate similar due diligence-based schemes soon.
  • Mine site validations carried out by mixed civil society, DRC government and private sector teams are underway. Although beset with challenges, the validations check for the presence of Congolese army soldiers, armed groups, children of under fifteen years and pregnant women in mines.
  • A series of pilot closed-pipe supply chain schemes paved the way for responsible sourcing activities in South Kivu and Katanga provinces in Congo.