The EU trialogue (EU Council, Commission and Parliament) negotiations on conflict minerals continued with discussions during a May 11 meeting in Strasbourg, France. The trialogue continues to wrestle with downstream vs. upstream and mandatory vs. voluntary due diligence. In an effort to reach compromise, the Dutch Presidency is pushing a compromise based on a mandatory system for upstream, taking into account volumes, but other member states are still reluctant. EU negotiators have agreed on the recognition of industry schemes and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development) standards.
The OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains was held May 10-12 in Paris and included such topics as companies addressing due diligence on the worst forms of child labor in their supply chain, and applicability of OECD due diligence guidance to other mineral supply chains. An NGO statement welcomed the OECD Forum and called on OECD members to demonstrate their commitment to the OECD Guidance and to ensure responsible and transparent mineral sourcing. IPC Director of Regulatory Affairs Fern Abrams represented IPC members at the Forum and participated in a panel discussion on costs and cost sharing of conflict minerals compliance.
On May 12, the Dutch government launched its Public-Private-Partner initiative on conflict minerals. The underlying objective is to address the issue of conflict minerals (3TGs) and to enable their responsible sourcing.