Motorola Solutions and AVX Corporation have announced an expansion of Solutions for Hope to the Province of North Kivu in the east of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Solutions for Hope platform allows tantalum from the DRC to be used in Motorola Solutions and AVX products without the involvement of illegal armed groups, in other words it is “conflict free.”
Solutions for Hope was first launched in July 2011 in the DRC’s Katanga Province. It created a “closed-pipe” supply model covering the mines, smelters, capacitor manufacturers (AVX) and end users (Motorola Solutions). As a result, Solutions for Hope not only validates that “conflict minerals” do not enter the supply chain but also creates economic benefits for artisanal miners and their families. Thus, it avoids the imposition of a de facto, country-wide embargo on the DRC that would impoverish non-conflict areas.
The same closed-pipe model will now engage a mine (Mwangachuchu Hizi International (MHI)) and smelters (F&X and Global Advanced Metals) to initiate a flow of tantalum within a conflict-free framework in North Kivu that will help enable miners to work and support their families and generate transparent public revenue for the DRC.
Solutions for Hope supports the development and implementation of several initiatives already under way in cooperation with the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the government of the DRC to establish a conflict-free infrastructure in the DRC, such as:
•The iTSCi Programme, which provides due diligence assessment on the upstream supply chain, baseline and continual evaluation of the circumstances around the mine, facilitation of stakeholder engagement, and traceability of minerals produced and independent auditing;
•Certification of mines by German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) Certified Trading Chains;
•Validation and capacity building of conflict-free supply chains put in place by the government of the DRC with support from multiple donors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the EU;
•Conflict-free smelter program by the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative;
•Due diligence guidance and implementation by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Group of Experts;
•Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, which links global end users with upstream operators and governments to promote responsible sourcing.
Motorola Solutions and AVX will continue to work with stakeholders to evaluate the project so that lessons can be shared with other industries in other regions and Solutions for Hope can be expanded.