Tungsten Industry Conflict Minerals Council updates compliance framework

August 24, 2022

Global breakdown of first‐use (such as hardmetal rods) segments and end‐use application areas, in 2016 (Courtesy Tungsten Industry Conflict Minerals Council)
Global breakdown of first‐use (such as hardmetal rods) segments and end‐use application areas, in 2016 (Courtesy Tungsten Industry Conflict Minerals Council)

The Tungsten Industry Conflict Minerals Council (TI-CMC) has released an updated version of its Tungsten Framework document. The council acts as a framework through which members can provide industry stakeholders and downstream tungsten consumers with conflict mineral reporting & 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, UK, and the Refractory Metals Association (RMA), Princeton, New Jersey, USA – a working group of tungsten refiners established this TI-CMC initiative in 2013. Under this 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 is intended top offer 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 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.

The latest version of the initiative is available here.


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