AVX Brings Conflict-Free Tantalum from Congo for Capacitors
Jul 7, 2011
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Capacitor supplier AVX Corp. partnered with a producer of communications technology to develop a process to deliver conflict-free tantalum material from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines.
The "Solutions for Hope Project" process has its basis is a "closed pipe" principle in which tantalite ore mined from a single site within the Katanga Province of the DRC is traced along its secure closed supply chain to the end customer's equipment in the form of tantalum capacitors supplied by AVX.
AVX will buy the ore from the DRC regional government licensed mine area concession holder at the current market price as published in Metal Pages and transport the ore to the smelter, which is a participant in the EICC and GeSI Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) program. The smelter will convert the ore to capacitor grade powder and wire which will be shipped to AVX. AVX will manufacture the capacitors and ship them to participating customers for incorporation into end market products
Minimizing the steps and companies involved helps ensure a validated "closed pipe" system and that the value of the DRC raw materials remain in the DRC for the benefit of the local peoples through concession holders' commitment to fund social services.
"We thank the various parties involved for their participation, especially the audit and assessment members that include an ex-member of the UN panel of experts who provided independent assessment of the traceability mechanisms, storage and transportation referenced within the OECD guidance on artisanal and small scale mining within regions of weak governance" said Bill Millman, AVX Tantalum Divisional Director of Quality and Technology.
This program provides hope to the small artisanal miners and communities who rely on this work to support them and their families. These miners are suffering from the de facto embargo within the non-conflicted regions of Katanga as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act in the United States.
AVX hopes that others involved in the production and use of tantalum products will follow this example and initiate verifiable programs for the resumption in supply of conflict free minerals from the small artisanal miners of the Congo.
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