Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Conflict-Free Smelter Early-Adopters Fund and why was it created?  The Conflict-Free Smelter Early-Adopters Fund (Fund) is a voluntary incentive program designed to support responsible minerals sourcing and “conflict-free” compliance by encouraging smelters/refiners (smelters) to participate in the Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Program.  The Fund is designed to offer smelters an extra incentive for early participation by offsetting the transition or start-up costs associated with participation in the CFS Program.

Who provides the funding for the CFS Early-Adopters Fund?  Support for the Fund is currently provided by Intel, HP, and the GE Foundation.  Others are encouraged to participate financially.

Who administers the Fund?  The Fund is administered by RESOLVE, an independent third party program manager, through its Solutions Network.  RESOLVE is a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges.

Who is eligible to participate in the CFS Early-Adopters Fund program?  Any smelter who is found compliant with the CFS Program standards is eligible to apply for an incentive from the Fund as long as the program is active and funds remain in the program.

What is the incentive?  Approved applicants will receive funds in the amount of one-half the cost of the first successful assessment, up to $5,000 (US). Payment is not guaranteed and is based on availability of remaining funds.  Applicants will receive the incentive on a first-come, first-served basis.

Is a smelter eligible for a refund for each annual compliance audit?  No.  The Fund will provide an incentive to each smelter company that successfully passes its initial CFS assessment, as confirmed by the CFS Audit Review Committee (ARC).  In order to encourage CFS Program participation among as many companies as possible, each smelter company is eligible for only one incentive (rather than being eligible for each successful assessment across multiple facilities).

Can a smelter claim more than one refund?  A smelter may claim one refund for each metal to which they are found CFS compliant (e.g. a smelter that completes separate CFS compliance audits for tantalum and tungsten is eligible for two refunds, one for each metal).

Is the incentive available to smelters already compliant with the CFS Program?  All smelter companies who have already been found to be compliant with the CFS Program protocol will be eligible to apply for funds as long as the CFS Early-Adopters Fund is active and funds remain in the program.

Will all eligible smelters receive a refund?  Refunds will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis as determined by the date the CFS Program issues compliance.  There is no further prioritization for eligible smelters.  Payment is not guaranteed and is based on availability of remaining funds.

What is the process for compliant smelters to claim the refund?  The steps in the application process can be found here.

How do I contact the administrator of this program?  The Fund is administered by RESOLVE, an independent third party program manager.  Further information regarding the Fund can be found here. For further questions, please contact