Chinese companies continuing to buy minerals from eastern Dem. Rep. of Congo but local directives, market pressure may push them to ensure their purchases don't fuel conflict

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Article
26 October 2011

Why Chinese Mineral Buyers are Eyeing Congo

Author: Mary Kay Magistad, World [USA]

…[The US] Dodd-Frank Act requires that US electronics companies not use conflict minerals from Africa. That’s led US and European buyers to pull back, until a system is in place to certify minerals conflict free...Jason Luneno Maene...a civil society leader [in eastern DRC],...says Chinese mineral buyers now have a virtual monopoly here. “They are paying 20 percent less, maybe even 30 percent less than the old price..." ...William Mishiki Buhini, the traditional chief of…Walikale...says…the pullout of Western buyers has gutted the local economy in the short term...Fidel Bafilemba, [of] Enough [Project]...says about 60 percent of the mines are now free of armed groups, and the government is taking further measures... Annie Dunneback..[of] Global Witness...praises the government for having issued a directive...that the mining sector has to [perform]...checks...[on its] supply chains. “...we spoke to some of the Chinese companies, who [said]...that the priority for them was to respect domestic law...,” Dunneback says. “So companies in the US and Europe have to adhere to new standards. But now these standards are also being replicated on the ground in Congo..." ...Removing the risk includes making sure factories in China aren’t using conflict minerals in electronics destined for the US market…[If] Americans really don’t want their gadget habit to fuel conflict in Congo, enforcing a clean supply chain could soon become China’s business, too.

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Article
26 October 2011

[audio] Why Chinese Mineral Buyers are Eyeing Congo

Author: Mary Kay Magistad, World [USA]

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