Processing plants conflict-free

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Global Advanced Metals (GAM) has announced that its tantalum processing plants in the United States and Japan have been declared free of 'conflict minerals' for a second consecutive year following an independent audit.

The audit was conducted by an independent, third party auditor assigned by the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) as part of the Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Validation Program.

GAM is the first company to pass a second consecutive audit under a new industry-wide program introduced in 2010. Recently acquired from Cabot Corporation, the tantalum processing plants at Boyertown, Pennsylvania and Aizu, Japan complement GAM's 'conflict-free' mining operations in Western Australia.

The CFS Validation Program, created and driven by the electronics industry, is being recognized and adapted by the automotive, aerospace and other metal consuming industries determined to eradicate unethical sources of raw material from their supply chains.

The term 'conflict minerals' applies to minerals (including tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold) that have originated in conflict zones within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where production and trade is associated with ongoing abuse of human rights.

To be declared conflict-free, GAM's processing plants have to maintain a documented conflict minerals policy, ensure a mechanism for tracing finished goods back to its mine of origin and produce documentation demonstrating that 100 percent of purchased materials are from non-conflict sources.

President of GAM Technology, Andrew O'Donovan said the entire Company was committed to a conflict-free supply chain and he was pleased that the processing plants had again been determined to be compliant and conflict-free by the auditors.

"For more than a decade, we have maintained a strict policy of purchasing raw materials only from ethical, non-conflict sources and this audit result is confirmation of our continuing commitment and hard work in this area," Mr O'Donovan said.

"The CFS audit program is an important tool as part of the overall effort to solve two basic challenges facing all stakeholders in this issue; to halt the flow of funds to unethical players while maintaining fair trade with those who are making an honest living."

GAM continues to proactively support efforts via the EICC, Government organisations and various other groups to develop, maintain and promote legitimate mineral extraction and trade within DRC and Central Africa to help ensure the sustainability of the tantalum industry.

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