What support can be given to ensure that important minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are responsibly sourced and that armed groups in conflict zones do not finance their activities through the mining of these minerals?
The European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission agreed on key points on 15 June 2016 in tripartite negotiations on the draft EU regulation on conflict minerals. It sets up supply chain due diligence requirements for certain minerals and ores (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) from conflict and high-risk areas. In particular on the core issue of due diligence obligations being binding a breakthrough was possible: They will now be binding only for the upstream part of the chain (i.e. from mine to smelting plant, thus covering the bottleneck of the raw material supply chain) as well as for importers of metallurgical products. The Regulation entered into force on 8 June 2017 following the tripartite negotiations and the adoption of the draft EU Regulation by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. A transitional period is provided for to ensure the efficient implementation of the Regulation. The starting date for fulfilling due diligence obligations in supply chains is therefore 1.1.2021.