As of December 1st, all AVX’s current tantalum powder and wire suppliers are fully compliant with the independently-audited Conflict-Free Smelter Programme (CFS). Going forward, AVX will exclusively use tantalum powder and wire from conflict-free compliant smelters.
AVX is the first in the industry to reach this point, another major step forward in its ability to provide verifiable assurance to its customers that all AVX products contain only conflict-free tantalum, in accordance with the principles of the Dodd-Frank legislation and current OECD guidelines. OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-affected and High-risk Areas is for use by any company potentially sourcing minerals or metals from conflict-affected areas of weak governance and provides management recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral or metal purchasing decisions and practices.
For the past ten years, AVX has had a policy of not using tantalum sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or any other area in which insurgents or similar groups benefit from the sale of minerals. From 2007 onwards, AVX increased the level of due diligence and improved its ability to comply with this policy and since 2009, AVX has actively participated in the industry-wide effort to eliminate “conflict minerals” from the supply chain through the CFS programme. The company says it will continue this role of leading by example by working with multiple stakeholder partners, including major electronics companies such as Motorola Solutions, HP and Intel, in the Solutions for Hope pilot program.
Solutions for Hope demonstrates that verifiably conflict-free tantalum material can be mined and shipped from the DRC to the benefit of the local population, who are suffering as a result of the de-facto ban on such minerals resulting from the Dodd-Frank legislation in the USA. Based on a closed-pipe supply chain that operates in accordance with the OECD due diligence guidance for responsible sourcing from areas of weak governance, Solutions for Hope incorporates the independently-validated Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) programme. The pilot initiative will be evaluated to prove that the closed supply chain is reliable, sustainable and expandable, and will allow the DRC to return as a supplier of responsibly-sourced minerals to the tantalum industry.
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