The Tungsten Industry Conflict Minerals Council announced the release of an updated version of its Tungsten Framework document. The Tungsten Industry—Conflict Minerals Council (TI-CMC or “the Council”) is a framework through which its members can provide industry stakeholders, downstream tungsten consumers with conflict mineral reporting and disclosure obligations, and the public at large with their assurances that the tungsten products they supply are sourced in accordance with the relevant OECD Guidance, appropriate US laws such as Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and Regulation (EU) 2017/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council from May 17, 2017, and that the risks highlighted in this guidance are assessed and mitigated as appropriate.
Supported by two leading tungsten industry trade associations, the International Tungsten Industry Association (ITIA), London, England, and the Refractory Metals Association (RMA), Princeton, New Jersey, a working group of tungsten refiners established an Initiative that provides a mechanism for industry members to demonstrate their compliance with Security and Exchange Commission regulations under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Initiative will be administered by the Tungsten Industry Conflict Materials Council (the “Council” or “TI-CMC”).
Under the Initiative, as monitored by the Council, assurances are provided to the tungsten supply chain that conflict minerals, as defined in the regulations, processed at the smelter/refinery level are in compliance with those regulations. This Initiative offers a straightforward approach for firms that must make declarations on their supply chains.
The Initiative is based on the recognition that refiners, pivotally positioned as they are in the tungsten supply chain, can best determine the source of tungsten materials made available to the global marketplace.
Tungsten raw materials such as wolframite must undergo a complex refining process before they can be used in downstream products for industries such as automotive, aerospace, machinery and electronics. Tungsten refining is an involved chemical or pyrometallurgical process far beyond the means of artisanal operations in regions covered by the new legislation, a fact specific to tungsten on which the approach of the Initiative is based.
Firms participating in the Initiative must adhere to a supplier code of conduct, and if inquiry reveals that materials originated in concerned regions, the framework under the Initiative is consistent with the due diligence guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.