The European semiconductor industry is active in addressing the topic of responsible minerals sourcing, including ores such as tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (often referred to as 3TG). In 2013, the global semiconductor industry through the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) adopted a Conflict-Free Supply Chain Policy in order to support the global progress in addressing the sourcing of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding areas initially, which was then broadened to “conflict-affected & high risk areas” in 2018. ESIA continues to lead the WSC Responsible Minerals Sourcing team on this collective effort. Since then, semiconductor companies have been involved in the development of compliance tools (such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance Framework) and, with their supply chains, have implemented programmes to track progress on the issue.
In 2018, to reflect the current status of the responsible minerals sourcing topic and its broad geographical scope, the WSC updated its policy regarding the deep concerns about the sources of minerals from conflict-affected & high risk areas (CAHRA) which goes beyond the original focus of the “Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries” and again underlines that the global semiconductor industry is committed to using responsibly sourced minerals in their semiconductor products. This update emphasises the importance of supply chains acting responsibly to source minerals and agrees that the WSC will promote the “OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas” among its members to do this. The OECD guidance serves as a common reference for all stakeholders in the mineral supply chain in order to clarify expectations concerning the nature of responsible supply chain management of minerals.
May 2018: Extract from the 2018 WSC Joint Statement on the Updated WSC Conflict Minerals Policy
May 2017: EU Conflict Minerals Regulation