Supply chain due dilligence

The primary and secondary production of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) creates large revenues and thereby contributes greatly to the economic growth and wealth of the countries where the metals are mined and processed.

IPA welcomes the EU Commission’s proposal for recognition of certifica- tion schemes developed by governments or organisations to ensure the sustainability of critical raw materials. Over the past decade, a prolifera- tion of responsible mining standards resulted in the standards landscape becoming increasingly complex to navigate and implement.

The PGM mining industry is a socially responsible player. All IPA mem- bers that mine PGMs have committed to the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) standard. Hence, IPA would strongly discoura- ge the creation of further standards and would instead call for increasing the process of alignment and cross-recognition of existing standards/ schemes to ensure that mining projects adhere to high ESG standards.

More information can be found under the Responsible mining and sourcing section.

Are PGMs conflict minerals?

Conflict minerals, whether metal ores or refined metal minerals, are mineral resources whose sales revenues may be used to finance military and guerilla operations that are linked to the violations of human rights. For example, the sale of gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten have helped to fund armed conflicts in Central Africa, namely in the Eastern Provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Countries ore areas which are considered to be conflict-affected or high-risk are those whose natural resources include minerals which are high in demand, either locally, regionally or globally, and are either suffering from armed-conflict, such as civil war, a state of fragile post-conflict, or witnessing weak or non-existing governance and experience systemic violence of international law, including human rights abuses.

PGMs are not included. Due to the concentration of PGM ores in such locations as South Africa, Russia, the United States and Canada, and the high technological and financial investments needed to fund and operate a PGM mine, there is literally no likelihood of finding PGMs mined under illegal conditions.

The challenge related to conflict minerals is the widespread use of the metals concerned in various industries and the identification of the chain of ownership and origin of these metals as they move across a global supply chain. Once the metals have been refined and ores from different sources have been combined, it is increasingly difficult to trace their origin.