1609 Why the EU’s new deal on Responsible Mineral Sourcing is a missed Opportunity

The EU has reached a “political understanding” on a new law intended to clean up the European minerals trade. The law aims to make sure European companies behave more responsibly when sourcing minerals that may be linked to conflict and human rights abuses. It will put some EU companies on the road to becoming more transparent when sourcing some key minerals. Companies that import tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold ores into the EU will be required to check their supply chains for risks, and to publicly report on what they have done about them. The agreement also pledges to respect the leading international standard for responsible business in mineral supply chains. However, the agreement still represents a missed opportunity. Minerals enter the EU in two ways. Raw forms of minerals are imported, typically for processing and manufacturing. But these minerals also enter the EU inside components and products such as electronics and jewellery. Under the agreement that has been reached, only companies importing ores and metals will have to check their supply chains. Companies that import the very same minerals inside components or products will not be required to do anything at all.   Read more

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