Ethical supply chain initiatives

In response to growing international concerns over mineral extraction and trade contributing to human rights violations and conflict financing, US (Dodd-Frank) and EU legislations have focused on transparency and due diligence in mineral supply chains. Simply put, companies must provide information on their supply chains and demonstrate that they identify and act upon risks.

Raphael Deberdt has done research on “responsible sourcing” of cobalt, DRC’s newest “booming” mineral that is critical to the globa energy transition. In his article  Land access rights in minerals’ responsible sourcing he argues that with the increased attention on responsible sourcing of cobalt, actors across the supply chains should address land access rights issues to effectively tackle reputational risks. Deberdt has also published on Entreprise Generale du Cobalt.

In their research project on accountability in mineral supply chains, Hester Postma, Sara Geenen and Lena Partzsch have focused on the question of accountability in non-state supply chain regulation. They draw on a case study of the most widely used traceability and due diligence programme for 3T minerals (tin, tungsten and tantalum), the International Tin Supply Chain Initiative (ITSCI) Programme for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, which faces many challenges. These are reported in a policy brief, a working paper and an an academic article Digging for due diligence.

A couple of years before that, Janvier Kilosho’s PhD research at the Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp (defended in 2018) studied traceability and certification of tin and coltan. In one of his chapters he examines the impact of iTSCi in Kalimbi mine, as well as the individual-level determinants of satisfaction and livelihood strategies to cope with the programme. The survey report can be found here: Kilosho_Survey Report_Nyabibwe_august_2016

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