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Congo rebels cash in on demand for tin

Author: Nicholas Garrett & Harrison Mitchell, Financial Times, Published on: 5 March 2008

...[T]in from a mine controlled by renegade soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo is reaching international markets... An investigation by the Financial Times has found that tin ore from the mine is reaching smelters and solder manufacturers in Asia via a network of local middlemen and international traders. Household brands such as Hitachi, Microsoft, Pioneer and Samsung are investigating whether they could be sourcing tin solder from these companies... Enrico Carisch, a former member of the group of experts [that investigate diversions of natural resources in Congo for the UN], commented that the “uncontrolled trade and lack of due diligence in the trading chains of cassiterite is directly linked to the disproportionate militarisation of North Kivu”, where renegade soldiers threatened last year to upset international efforts to restore peace... Alexis Makabuza Ruzenga, a purchaser and exporter of tin ore from Bisie and founding shareholder of the co-operative Comimpa that works at the mine, told the FT that he sells tin ore directly to the Malaysia Smelting Corporation [part of Straits Trading Company]... [The] company denied that it had traded with him... [Smelters] sell refined tin to solder manufacturers, including...Nihon Superior, which confirmed that it supplies companies including Hitachi, Kenwood, Panasonic [part of Matsushita], Pioneer and Sony. [includes statements by Microsoft, Samsung, Hitachi, Pioneer]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Hitachi Malaysia Smelting Matsushita (now Panasonic) Microsoft Nihon Superior Panasonic Pioneer Samsung Sony