OECD Due Diligence Guidance Verification of ‘Conflict Minerals’ Policy

OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas

Step 5: Report Annually on Supply Chain Due Diligence Independent Assurance Engagement and Report

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) directs the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement rules and measures for U.S companies with equity securities*1 that use coltan, cassiterite, gold, wolframite or their derivatives; tin, tungsten, tantalum (3T’s) from the DRC or adjoining countries, necessary to the production, or contract production of a product. These minerals are often referred to as ‘conflict minerals’. Owing to the complexity of products that may have multiple components that can contain the 3T’s and gold from a multitude of suppliers and therefore the effect of the Dodd-Frank Act is not limited to U.S companies alone.

Consequently, many UK and European companies supplying tier 1 companies which are either listed on the U.S stock market, or tier 2 companies that supply listed companies, have been subject to a Reasonable Country of Inquiry (RCOI) questionnaires to aid their customers determination of 3T and gold mineral origins.

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The SEC Final Rule states that due diligence must be performed in accordance with OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, in the absence of any other another nationally or internationally recognised guidance. Hence, OECD Guidance*3 is the only recognised guidance available at present in the U.S, EU, Canada or worldwide. A limited but increasing number of UK and European companies have adopted OECD Guidance to manage response sourcing of minerals in order to give confidence to their customers.

The Guidance states that it is intended to serve as a common reference for all suppliers and stakeholders in the mineral supply chain. The Guidance is not law, though is referenced in several acts of legislation (SEC Final Rules, Draft Regulation of the European Parliament an of the Council*4, Canada Bill C-486).

Step 5 of OECD Guidance: Report Annually on Supply Chain Due Diligence

1.Often referred to as ‘shares’
2.SEC final rule, [Release No. 34-67716; File No. S7-40-10] first paragraph, page 28
3.All references to “OECD Guidance” means OECD (2013), OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas: Second Edition.
4.Brussels, 5.3.2014 COM(2014) 111 final 2014/0059 (COD)

EnviroSense can conduct an assurance engagement, performed to the International Standard on Attestation Engagements (ISAE) 3000 *5 in order to express a conclusion on your companies report on mineral due diligence.

Why EnviroSense
EnviroSense has provided support to iTSCi (ITRI Supply Chain Initiative) miner to smelter programme. iTSCi is aligned with OECD guidance to facilitate iTSCi members understanding and conformance to OECD Guidance and enable companies that are iTSCi members to conduct simple due diligence based on the OECD Guidance, as a common reference to all companies irrespective if they are they are legally bound by the Dodd Frank Act and SEC Final Rule or not.

Companies can use the programme to exercise due diligence simply and easily by using information provided by iTSCi that is open, transparent, readily available and free to use for iTSCi members. For more information on iTSCi; https://www.itri.co.uk/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=2192&Itemid=189

Public reporting and an independent opinion on the information reported improves public, shareholder and customer confidence in the measures your company is taking.

Due diligence undertaken can be included in annual sustainability or corporate responsibility reports depending on the level of exposure your company has to potential conflict minerals and not as a separate subject.

Do contact us if you have any questions and we will happily assist.

For your information, a list of ‘conflict minerals’, derivatives and trade uses are listed in the resource section EnviroSense’s website (click here) as is other information listed under the minerals resource section.

Alternatively your company may be subject to many questions from suppliers and when beginning your journey of due diligence and responsible mineral supply, EnviroSense can assist*6 you with a variety of options, see our webpage Mineral Due Diligence and Training (click here).

Contact us if you have any questions, please do ask: 01531 637396

5.Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information
6.Any support that can be interpreted as consultancy that contravenes neutrality and clearly prescribes courses of action a company and a consultative , training or advisory capacity will preclude EnviroSense from conducting the engagement.