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The UK Government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office issues guidelines for British businesses who may be trading in minerals sourced from conflict-affected areas of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), or whose products include components that include such minerals. These guidelines encourage those trading in natural resources from the DRC to do so in a way which is socially, economically and environmentally responsible, including adhering to the relevant voluntary OECD guidance and guidelines.
What are conflict minerals?
Conflict minerals are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, and which are sold or traded by armed groups. This has for some years been a particular problem in the DRC.
Conflict minerals in the eastern DRC are generally defined as Cassiterite (tin), Coltan (tantalum), Wolframite (tungsten) and Gold, or derivatives of these minerals. Sometimes these minerals are referred to as the “Three T’s” – Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten (and gold).
Please see below conflict minerals and their major uses :-
Ore from which tin is extracted
Plating and solders for joining pipes and electronic circuits
Ore from which tantalum is extracted
Electronic components (including those used in mobile phones, computers, videogame consoles), aircraft and surgical components
Ore from which tungsten is extracted
Metal wires, electrodes and contacts in lighting, electronic, electrical, heating and welding applications
Rare metal found in a native (pure) form and obtained as a by-product of other mining operations
Jewellery, electronic, communications and aerospace equipment
The supply chain
Companies can, knowingly or unknowingly, be affected by the risk of supply chain contamination with conflict minerals. This can occur at a number of stages, whether mining or trading in the eastern provinces of DRC, in an adjoining country, or further along the chain.
Minerals are traded and processed by upstream stakeholders, before being used in downstream manufacturing products, including in the electronics, automotive, aerospace, defence, software, pharmaceutical and other industries.
Conflict Minerals Policy
Clere works closely with all of our suppliers to ensure to the best of our knowledge that we do not distribute products containing Conflict Minerals, or which use such Conflict Minerals in the manufacturing process.