Know The Role Of ITSCI In Responsible Minerals

The International Tin Supply Chain Initiative, or ITSCI, is a program created by the International Tin Association (ITA) in 2009 to ensure that natural resources are mined legally and according to Government standards. This program also addresses the concerns of responsible mining of 3T or Tin, Tantalum, and Tungsten in the conflicted zone. Hence, this blog explores the crucial role of ITSCI in responsible minerals. 

Background And Objectives Of ITSCI

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, reports and investigations revealed that the minerals were sourced from the conflict zones and sold to finance armed groups, which contributed to severe human rights abuses and violence. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its neighbouring regions were known for such practices, especially in practising 3T minerals. It led to:

Forced Labor And Child Labor: 

Many mines relied on forced work, especially engaging the children in the mining.

Violence And Insecurity: 

Local communities suffered from violence, displacement, and insecurity due to the presence of armed groups.

Environmental Damage: 

Unregulated mining practices bring about vast environmental degradation, affecting the livelihoods of nearby populations.

Need For Conflict-Free Minerals

There became a persistent need to set up a system to ensure minerals were sourced without contributing to conflict7 or human rights abuses.

Governments and international bodies started to make legislative practices to combat the difficulty of struggling minerals. Against this backdrop, the International Tin Association (ITA) identified the need for a structured approach to ensure responsible sourcing of tin and different associated minerals. Thus, in 2009, ITSCI was established to streamline the mineral sourcing and to track minerals from the mine to the consumer, ensuring transparency at each level of the supply chain.

It was also developed to enforce a due diligence framework consistent with worldwide standards, including the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from High-Risk and Conflict-Affected Areas.

ITSCI & RMI Collaboration:

ITSCI and the RMI aim to promote responsible sourcing and have had constructive dialogue (a form of communication) about RMI recognizing ITSCI as an upstream system. Both groups are dedicated to ongoing effective communication and collaboration with auditees, stakeholders, and participants. They both support the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for responsible mineral supply chains from high-risk and conflict-affected areas. Also, they understand that agencies have due diligence obligations and must not rely on any initiative or scheme.

ITSCI And RMI Sharing An Understanding:

ITSCI and the RMI support the OECD Guidance, the principles and objectives of Alignment Assessment information, the initiative’s self-reporting, and users’ risk-based spot checks. ITSCI is progressing with its second independent alignment assessment following a public commitment.

The details and scope of the RMI recognition and ITSCI alignment assessment will be shared clearly to help participating companies understand. It will be stressed that companies are still responsible for their due diligence, even if they use any initiative.

ITSCI and the RMI have worked hard to achieve a lasting understanding through constructive dialogue with experts and stakeholders, including those from the tin and tantalum industries (the International Tin Association and the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center). An OECD paper on the role of industry initiatives in mandatory due diligence has also guided these discussions.

The International Tin Supply Chain Initiative (ITSCI) promotes responsible mineral sourcing by ensuring traceability and compliance with moral requirements. By addressing the challenges associated with tin, tantalum, and tungsten (3T) supply chains, ITSCI resolves human rights abuses and environmental degradation. Its collaboration with the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) and adherence to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance similarly strengthen its impact. As the global call for responsibly sourced minerals increases, approach Sunstream for conflict mineral compliance services to be transparent, accountable, and sustainable inside the mineral delivery chain.