Mineral resources hold great potential for our economy. However, when mined in conflict-affected or high-risk areas, they can add to the continuation of violent clashes or human rights abuses. This has raised concerns among customers, suppliers, regulators, investors, non-governmental organizations and citizens who are increasingly asking companies, including small and medium businesses, to show that the minerals and metals entering their supply chains have not contributed to activities that harm people. To address these problems, theEU’s Regulation on Responsible Sourcing of Minerals, addressing specifically 3TG (Tin, Tungsten, Tantalum, and Gold) has been enforced to ensure that minerals used by European industries are sourced responsibly, diverting revenues away from rebel groups, conflict, and terror. The regulation also supports the development of local communities and businesses. The rules will cover up to 95% of imports as of 1 January 2021.
The FRAME project has a dedicated task that deals with the sourcing of Niobium and Tantalum, two of the so-called “conflict minerals”, from European sources.