We are combining Consensas’ groundbreaking technology with IMPACT’s in-depth experience to transform how natural resources are managed in areas where security and human rights are at risk. We are creating a solution that allows companies to confidently source minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas, while supporting upstream supply chain actors to progressively meet international market standards.
Challenges with Sourcing Minerals in Conflict-Affected & High-Risk Areas
Companies are under increasing regulatory and consumer pressure to address a variety of supply chain risks. This is especially challenging with the extraction of minerals in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. These risks include the potential for conflict financing and corruption, human rights violations, child labour, gender-based violence, and environmental degradation.
Companies need accurate, timely, cost-effective, and secure supply chain data to better monitor, respond to, and mitigate these risks. Companies also want to better understand the broader impacts of their sourcing practices. This data can be hard to come by in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Online connectivity is often limited, there are few credible sources of information on the ground, data is inadequate, unclear, or out of date, and vital pieces of information and documentation are often missing by the time it reaches the appropriate user. Many upstream supply chain actors have the ability to collect, manage and share supply chain and due diligence data efficiently, but need the capacity building and technical guidance to do so.
Combining Development, Human Rights, and Technology for a Unique Solution
To address these challenges, we are bringing together our combined expertise in mineral supply chains, natural resource management, development and human rights, cryptography, and building systems that scale with size, to create an appropriate and long-term solution.
Technology needs to be adapted to the realities of conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Our system is built from the ground up, taking into account the needs of artisanal miners, communities, and governments, ensuring that the solution is appropriate and realistic for upstream actors. Our experience demonstrates that upstream supply chain actors are willing to take the steps necessary to fulfill the traceability and due diligence expectations of the international market, but opportunity and market incentives are required for long-term sustainability.
We also recognize the capacity of upstream supply chain actors—often micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)—to implement international due diligence guidelines and improve their due diligence capacity over time.
Our solution, to be appropriate and sustainable, requires an approach that:
• encourages upstream actors to formalize;
• engages with all stakeholders and partners;
• identifies the incentives to sustain improved practices for miners and traders in the artisanal mining sector; and
• provides a cost-effective way to share the data along the supply chain.