Due Diligence in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas
In certain contexts, especially where government is weak, metals and minerals extraction has been associated with serious abuses of human rights, corruption, conflict, damage to health and the environment.
In response to concerns around these issues, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has developed guidance on conducting due diligence to understand and mitigate risks associated with materials which come from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. This type of approach is increasingly being translated into national legislation, most recently by the EU for instance.
Society at large is increasingly aware that these kinds of issues can be associated with the products they use such as cars and electronics, and the consumer brands that sell them are under pressure for not taking enough care to avoid this.
This means that companies who process metals and minerals must understand where their inputs come from. They share a responsibility with the mining companies that supply metals and minerals from conflict-affected or high-risk areas to demonstrate that any risks of corruption and human rights abuse are mitigated.
Conducting Due Diligence and Producing Metals and Minerals Responsibly
ICMM members produce both minerals and metals and therefore must demonstrate to customers that their operations and the materials they source are not associated with human rights violations or corruption. ICMM company members commit to conduct due diligence with business partners, especially in conflict-affected and high-risk areas, that is aligned with the OECD guidance.