Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) and AVX Corporation (NYSE: AVX) today announced expansion of Solutions for Hope to the Province of North Kivu, the conflict-prone area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The innovative 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, or “conflict free.” Tantalum is a material used to manufacture certain capacitors that enable electronic products and is derived from the mineral coltan, which is in rich supply in the DRC.
- Solutions for Hope was launched in July 2011 in the DRC’s Katanga province. For the first time in the region, it created a “closed-pipe” supply model that has proven effective. The model uses a defined set of suppliers 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 supports the policies of the United States and the European Union because it avoids imposition of a de facto, country-wide embargo on the DRC that would impoverish non-conflict areas.
- The same closed-pipe model will 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.
- New legislation requires U.S. companies to disclose the use of certain minerals, including tantalum, used in their products and to describe the process used to ensure that the purchase of these minerals does not fund the illegal armed groups operating in the DRC. Solutions for Hope is consistent with the requirements of this new legislation.
- 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; 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
- A multi-stakeholder group with representatives from AVX, Motorola Solutions, Global Advanced Metals, the Enough Project, the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade and the USAID implementing partner International Organization for Migration visited the MHI mine site and North Kivu provincial authorities in November 2013 to evaluate the feasibility of the project in the region.
- An independent auditor has validated Solutions for Hope so it can be used by other companies that wish to demonstrate a responsible supply chain while continuing to use DRC-mined minerals.
- North Kivu is a province bordering Lake Kivu in the eastern DRC. Its capital is Goma. The region is politically unstable and has been one of the flashpoints in military conflicts in the region since 1994.
- Solutions for Hope demonstrates the commitment of AVX and Motorola Solutions to being in the vanguard of companies committed to humane, people-focused responses to the conflict-mineral problem.
- 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.
Willing King, deputy general manager - tantalum, AVX Corporation“AVX is dedicated to achieving the highest standards for conflict-free supply chains using innovative and reliable methods that preserve and protect human rights around the globe. AVX has been and will continue to be a corporate leader and partner to establish groundbreaking practices that set an example for other companies to reach the goal of a conflict-free supply chain without victimizing the innocent.”