A working group of tungsten refiners, supported by the International Tungsten Industry Association (ITIA), London, UK, and the Refractory Metals Association (RMA), Princeton, USA, has 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 (TI-CMC).
Under the Initiative, as monitored by the TI-CMC, assurances will be 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.
The RMA will manage the infrastructure of the initiative. It will be open to all interested tungsten firms, whether or not they are members of ITIA or RMA.
The TI-CMC program (www.ti-cmc.org) focuses on refiner behaviour and policies and is the most reasonable approach to addressing the legislation’s objectives. Development of the Initiative’s infrastructure is underway and is expected to be complete by mid-summer 2013.
For more information contact James R. Dale, TI-CMC acting administrator ([email protected]).