The European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) will join the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) and contribute € 5.4 million. The contribution will support new legislation on conflict minerals.
The European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) encourages companies, civil society organizations and governments to join their partnership to increase the proportion of responsibly-produced minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Stakeholders of EPRM also support the socially responsible extraction of minerals, thereby contributing to local development. EPRM focuses on 4 minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold.
New EU regulation
EPRM is a multi-stakeholder partnership that was set up in November 2016. The partnership was founded alongside a new EU regulation that aims to stop conflict minerals and metals from being exported to the EU, to stop global and EU smelters and refiners from using conflict minerals, and to stop mineworkers from being abused.
The new European law was adopted in May 2017 and also supports the development of local communities. The law requires EU companies to ensure they only import minerals and metals from responsible sources. The law will be in effect from 1 January 2021 so companies have time to adapt to it.
EPRM supports activities that improve the conditions in mining areas in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. EPRM also serves as a knowledge platform where organisations can share knowledge on due diligence. For instance, EPRM provides support for the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance in Europe. It will also promote knowledge sharing and cooperation between supply chain actors.
Currently there are 3 pilot projects in Colombia, DRC and Indonesia.