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Vol 56 No 9

Published 1st May 2015


Congo-Kinshasa

EU adopts 'weak' code

The European Parliament is set to ratify a code on conflict minerals, putting it at odds with US legislation and angering campaigners

In the week of 18 May, the European Parliament is set to ratify the European Commission's long-awaited proposal for a system to ensure the responsible supply of 'conflict minerals' from the Great Lakes region. The aim is to prevent the trade in such minerals – mainly tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold – from benefitting smugglers and warring militias in Congo-Kinshasa but the proposal has fallen far short of the expectations of the groups which originally campaigned to bring it about. Under pressure from the industries consuming the raw materials, the EU has adopted a voluntary system and not the stringent approach exemplified in the United States' 2011 Dodd-Frank Act. The USA now requires US companies to carry out due diligence on the sourcing of their minerals to guarantee their traceability.

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