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MSC POLICY ON CONFLICT MINERALS  
     
MSC is a major global integrated tin producer with exploration, mining, smelting and marketing business divisions. The Company’s custom tin smelter located in Penang, Malaysia generally sources its feed material comprising primary tin concentrates, crude tin and secondary tin bearing material from all over the world. It is the Company’s policy to conduct its custom smelting business in a responsible and ethical manner.

Section 1502 of the US Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law1 by President Obama on July 21st 2010 defines ‘Conflict Minerals’ as including ‘cassiterite and its derivatives’ along with two other minerals and gold. MSC supports the objectives of this law, to progressively reduce the link between mining and conflict in the eastern Provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and recognises the disclosure requirements which this law imposes on SEC reporting companies in the US.

MSC has been purchasing tin concentrates from Central African countries for several years and is fully aware that thousands of miners and their dependents in the DRC and the surrounding region rely on the tin production and trade, as do thousands more employed in associated services such as transportation. We will participate in solutions that aim to address the conflict mineral issues to ensure that the trade will continue and in compliance with requirements of the international community.

Currently between 15-20% of the tin we produce is sourced from predominantly artisanal miners in Central Africa. The majority of the smelter intake from Central Africa is currently from Rwanda and from the southern Katanga Province of the DRC that is not within the recognised conflict areas of Eastern DRC. MSC, as a leading member of the tin association ITRI, has been pro-active in developing the ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi) traceability and due diligence system designed to differentiate between conflict and non-conflict sources in high risk areas and promote progressive improvement of the circumstances of mining. All tin concentrates purchased by MSC from Rwanda and Katanga is obtained through the iTSCi programme and therefore according to internationally recognised due diligence guidance.

Both the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)2 and the United Nations (UN)3 have released broadly similar guidelines for company due diligence on minerals from conflict affected and high risk areas, and in the case of the UN, specifically for the DRC. The US Department of State has endorsed the OECD guidance and encourages companies to draw upon it as they establish their due diligence practices4. These guidelines outline actions that will allow trade to continue while promoting responsible sourcing and progressive improvement.

MSC considers ‘DRC conflict free’ cassiterite to be that which has been sourced according to OECD due diligence procedures aimed to reduce trade that may directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the DRC and/or in adjoining countries; Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. This is the position supported by a wide range of stakeholders (Government, NGO’s and industry) and communicated to the US SEC earlier in 20115.

MSC is also committed to meeting the requirements of Governments of the affected countries and subscribes to a longer term sustainability objective of improving the tin mining industry of DRC and Rwanda. In this respect the Company is involved in the process of establishing, either unilaterally and/or on a joint venture basis with private companies as well as Governments, industrial size mining projects in these countries.

RELEVANT COMPANY AND ASSOCIATION ACTIONS

MSC recognises the concerns of the international community regarding minerals which may fund conflict and the need to have a strong organizational structure to deal with such concerns. We have ensured all relevant personnel within our company are aware of the US Dodd Frank law, as well as the due diligence guidance of the OECD and the UN.

We strive to take all reasonable steps to abide by all relevant regulations or operating guidance and have also made our suppliers aware of these frameworks. All our current smelting contracts have a specific clause relating to due diligence requirements.

We also communicate this policy with regular update on development and progress of the various due diligence and smelter audit (CFS) schemes to our customers.

The relevant Ministry within the Government of Malaysia has been kept updated on the various developments since 2009.

This policy statement together with other relevant information on the company actions and involvement in striving to address the concerns of various conflict mineral issues are hosted on the company website (http://www.msmelt.com)

As early as October 2008, we recognised issues with tin supply from the DRC and committed, as a member of the global tin association ITRI, to a policy on artisanal and small scale mining6. This was followed in October 2009 by the ITRI Member Declaration on Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) that included a commitment by each member company not to purchase cassiterite known or suspected to have originated in the DRC unless participating in, and complying with, the current requirements of the ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi).

MSC fully supports the aims of iTSCi to differentiate between minerals trade that may be funding conflict, and the trade that is not, in order to allow artisanal mining to continue when possible, and to avoid a complete embargo on the region. We abide by the requirements of the iTSCi programme membership agreement, including recognition of the Annex II model supply chain policy recommended by the OECD, and make in-kind and financial contributions to the programmes’ support and development. We consider that ‘conflict minerals’ can most effectively be controlled at source, rather than at the point of smelting.

ITRI holds Memoranda of Understanding, and works closely with the Governments of the DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi, as well as the ICGLR (International Conference of the Great Lakes Region) who all recognise the iTSCi due diligence system as appropriate for use in their countries.

Both MSC and ITRI have worked as key participants in the OECD multi-stakeholder working group to develop the guidance document since December 2009.

ITRI has also participated in discussions with relevant offices of US Congressmen, a roundtable hosted by the European Parliament, as well as providing a range of comments to the SEC.

MSC and ITRI have also supported and worked with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)7 and Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition® (EICC)8 since early 2009 and have provided advice to improve the conflict-free smelter (CFS) programme. MSC will participate in the CFS audits once an audit protocol and associated procedures have been developed.

Through a combination of all the above efforts, and in close co-operation with Governments and NGOs, as a leading member of the tin production industry, MSC therefore aims to achieve three goals:
  1. We will not trade in cassiterite that directly or indirectly finances or benefits armed groups in the DRC and/or adjoining countries, and

  2. We will promote ways for legitimate minerals from the region to enter the global supply chain, thereby supporting the economy of the region and the local communities that depend on this trade.

  3. We will promote sustainable development of the tin industries in DRC and Rwanda through investments in industrial scale exploration, mining, processing and smelting of tin and associated minerals resource.


1Responsibility for producing reporting rules under the law lies with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The rules were not available at the release date of this document.

2OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, adopted as a Recommendation by the OECD Council on May 25, 2011, under the chairmanship of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. See http://www.oecd.org/document/36/0,3746,en_2649_34889_44307940_1_1_1_1,00.html

3UN Security Council Resolution 1952 (2010) adopted unanimously on 29th November 2010 supported taking forward the Group of Experts’ recommendations on due diligence provided in its 2010 report (S/2010/596), and called upon all States to take appropriate steps to raise awareness of such due diligence guidelines. See http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1533/egroupguidelines.shtml

4Statement Concerning Implementation of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Legislation Concerning Conflict Minerals Due Diligence, US Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, July 15, 2011. See http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/diamonds/docs/168632.htm

5Letter provided by the OECD, UN Group of Experts on DRC and the ICGLR (Governments of 11 countries impacted by the US law) to the SEC on 29th July 2011. See http://www.sec.gov/comments/df-title-xv/specialized-disclosures/specializeddisclosures-123.pdf

6See http://www.itri.co.uk/SITE/UPLOAD/Document/Sustainability/ITRI_ASM_policy_doc_v1.pdf

7See http://www.gesi.org/

8See http://www.eicc.info/

Last update: 7th October 2016

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