EU to support responsible minerals and metals sourcing.

European Parliament. Photo: Creative Commons licence, credit: HpGruesen

On 20 November 2019, the European Commission will launch 'due diligence ready!'. This initiative will support responsible minerals and metals sourcing.

'Due diligence ready!' is dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises  (SMEs) with minerals and metals in their supply chain, focusing on, but not limited to, tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. It helps SMEs perform due diligence effectively and ensure responsible sourcing. 

Via the 'due diligence ready!' the online portal, SMEs will be able to access information, tools and training materials in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish to guide them through the development of their due diligence capacity.

Mineral resources hold great potential for development but can, in some regions, fuel violence, human rights abuse and negative environmental impacts. Consequently, customers, suppliers, regulators, investors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and end-consumers are increasingly asking companies, including SMEs, to demonstrate that minerals and metals entering their supply chains haven't contributed to harming people or the environment. 'Due diligence ready!' was developed in response to these requests.

'Due diligence ready!' will make conducting due diligence on minerals and metals supply chains straightforward, efficient and effective, and help ensure SMEs can meet the new expectations from their customers and regulators to demonstrate responsible sourcing. The main EU initiative in this regard is the new ‘conflict minerals’ regulation, effective on 1 January 2021. It sets out the supply chain due to diligence requirements for EU importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten and gold.

There are companies which encourage SMEs with minerals and metals in their supply chains to prepare early for the impact on their businesses by using 'due diligence ready!'. This will place them in a stronger position to meet regulatory requirements and market demand for responsible sourcing and will allow them to contribute to positive development in the minerals and metals sector.