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European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM)

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The European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) is a multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to the promotion of responsible mineral supply chains. It aims at creating better social and economic conditions for miners and mining communities and curbing trade in so-called conflict minerals (tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold). At the same time, the initiative aims at increasing the number of mines that operate responsibly in conflict regions and securing market access for these mines.

EPRM was founded as a development policy measure to support the EU regulation on conflict minerals. From 2021, the import of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (3TG) will be regulated throughout Europe. Importers of these raw materials must then prove that they have implemented their due diligence obligations to comply with human rights standards in their supply chains and that they do not contribute to conflict financing. However, to have a real impact in the producing countries, the EU regulation must be accompanied by specific support measures on the ground. Otherwise, there is a risk that producing countries will be excluded from relevant value chains or that alternative business relationships will be entered into with customers who do not respect the required standards.

From mining, smelting, and refining to the processing industry - the EPRM brings together different stakeholders along the entire supply chain and implements pilot projects to promote responsible mineral sourcing. These projects cover a large variety of topics and needs, from helping women to access municipal loans in DR Congo to providing information on the origin of the minerals used by processing companies. Besides, EPRM promotes networking and knowledge transfer between the stakeholders in the supply chains of the respective mineral.

The establishment of responsible supply chains and respect for human rights are a priority of the German Development Cooperation. Since January 2020, Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is a member of the EPRM and thus assumes a pioneering role throughout Europe in implementing human rights standards in the extractives sector. The Extractives for Development (X4D) Sector Programme has supported EPRM on behalf of the BMZ since the initiative was launched at the end of 2016.

 

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