In 2011, downstream markets were largely unwilling to source from the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa (GLR). However, pilots by Solutions for Hope and the Conflict Free Tin Initiative (which built on the Solutions for Hope model) successfully demonstrated the viability and value of responsibly sourcing tantalum and tin from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The pilots were also instrumental in testing systems and tools to enable due diligence. These kinds of demonstration activities were critical in building confidence and capacity for other downstream companies to pursue and accept artisanal minerals from Conflict Areas and High Risk Areas (CAHRAs) in the Great Lake Region (GLR) into their supply chain.
The uncertainty in 2011 was largely driven by increased civil society attention and pending legislation in the United States surrounding conflict minerals in the GLR. However, regulations by the European Union could potentially lead to similar uncertainty about other conflict affected or high risk areas, including Colombia. Anticipating this, since 2014, RESOLVE and ARM promoted the Solutions for Hope approach in the form of CAPAZ and the Market Entry Standard, exploring whether it could add global value through pilots in Colombia. Participants from the private sector (including ASM, industrial mining, and in-country refiner representatives) and government expressed a good deal of interest in the development of “Cadenas de Paz” (literally, “[supply] chains of peace” and abbreviated as “CAPAZ” which means “able”). The buy in of the Ministry of Mines of a traceability and supply chain approach to the sector and the CAPAZ pilot sites in Colombia, beginning with those proposed in this scope, could potentially pre-empt the kind of market hesitation observed in the GLR in 2011, demonstrating that Colombia is open for responsible sourcing business.
Colombia will also be the site for first pilot testing of the CAPAZ Market Entry Standard in 2017-2018.