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20 Jun 2019

Jonathan Watts, The Guardian

Tech firms to check suppliers after mining revelations in Tanzania

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"Tech firms to check suppliers after mining revelations in Tanzania"

Electronics companies, including Canon, Apple and Nokia, are re-evaluating their supply chains following reports they may be using gold extracted from a Tanzanian mine that has been criticised for environmental failures...Nokia and Canon said they would review their supply chains in the light of findings from the Green Blood investigation by the Guardian in collaboration with a collective of journalists led by Forbidden Stories. Apple said it was “deeply committed to the responsible sourcing of materials that go into its products”...

Contacted by Forbidden Stories, several of these companies said they would review their supply chains. Nokia said it would contact the refinery and industry regulators. “Based on allegations we have also directly reached out to MMTC-PAMP and are awaiting a response. We will follow up on information received, to determine further action, and if allegations are confirmed, this smelter will be red-flagged and we will ask our supply chain to divert business from this smelter.”

Canon echoed other companies in noting that the MMTC-PAMP smelter had passed the conflict minerals audit conducted by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). “We are not aware of any relationship between human rights abuse mining in Tanzania and MMTC-PAMP India. We will carefully review your report after it is published and then consult with the RMI (of which Canon is a member) to take appropriate steps as necessary,” a spokesman said. Apple said: “If a refiner is unable or unwilling to meet our standards, they will be removed from our supply chain.” The US company said it had stopped working with 60 refiners and would continue investigating and holding supply chains to the highest standards.