A few weeks ago in Paris, I attended the OECD’s 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains with Ken Fallu, OPTEL’s Director of Business Development for the Mining Sector. This annual event was particularly interesting for us as it brings together industry stakeholders to discuss how to measure impact and drive change, as well as opportunities and challenges related to specific minerals.
Some of the main topics included OECD Minerals Due Diligence Guidance, as well as regulatory and policy updates for responsible sourcing, which were extremely relevant considering OPTEL’s goals in this area. With OPTEL’s GeoTraceability platform, we strive to provide more transparency to the mineral supply chain, engage with smallholders, and offer full supply chain visibility, from raw materials to the end user.
Furthermore, we were pleased to hear about the new laws coming into effect in 2021 regarding responsible sourcing standards – it showed how crucial our role is, as a company with a concrete traceability project to control and manage conflict minerals and secure supply chains. Let’s take gold, for example: The trading of illegally mined, taxed and smuggled gold has long been a source of funding in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for armed groups and other illicit actors. This is undoubtedly a critical concern, creating feelings of insecurity in the population and bringing on death and violence.
It’s important to raise awareness regarding this issue plaguing the mineral supply chain, and this event was a great opportunity for that, as OPTEL will keep collaborating with organizations like the UNEP, the OECD and the World Economic Forum to help solve this problem.