WASHINGTON (CI AFRICA) – Intel Corporation Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said the company’s stringent controls on minerals sourced in conflict areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo sets a best practice model for other private sector companies.
[Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich speaks to Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at US Senate Foreign Relations Committee]
Speaking with Capitol Intelligence at a conference held at the US Senate, Krzanich said Intel Corporation made an early leadership decision regarding the sourcing of conflict minerals used in semi-conductors from places such as the DRC and the Great Lakes region.
Krzanich said that Intel Corporation could have easily decided to acquire mineral resources from areas other than the Congo but concluded that by doing so it would make the problem worse, not better.
He said Intel had decided to take proactive measures regarding conflict minerals even before Congress enacted legislation requiring US companies to do so in the Dodd-Frank financial services reform legislation.
“This was all about doing the right thing and good practices in supply chain management,” he said.
Krzanich was speaking conflict mineral forum held in the Senate Russell building hosted by US Senators Chris Coons (D-DEL) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), respectively the chairman and ranking member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa.
Carolyn Duran, the Intel executive in charge of its sourcing program, said that company follows strict controls on all 3T metals – tin, tantalum and tungsten – sourced in conflict areas at the smelter level.
She said by checking the metals composition at smelting, Intel Corporation and other electronic manufacturers can determine whether or not the metals came from a legitimate and certified mine in a conflict zone or whether the metal came from illegal sources.
DRC Ambassador to the US, HE Faida M. Mitifu, said that initiatives by Intel Corporation in conflict minerals has already helped boost the creation of desperately needed private sector jobs in the war torn nation, citing the Canadian listed BANRO Corporation (TSX:BAA) in South Kivu and Kibali Gold in Oriental Province as shining examples.
Kibali Gold is a joint venture of South Africa’s Randgold (NASDAQ: GOLD), AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU) and Congo’s Sokimo.
“Everyone in the Congo now wants to work for either BANRO or Kibali and we need more companies like them in the Congo,” she said.
Martin Jones, chairman of the BANRO foundation, said that the company is able to successfully mine gold – arguably the most problematic of all conflict minerals — thanks in large part from the efforts by Intel Corporation and others in source control.
BANRO currently mines about 80,000 ounces a year of gold from the mine, with that figure expected to rise to 230,000 ounces in June or July this year. Jones said the company is controlled by institutional investors such as JP Morgan, Black Rock and was co-founded by Arnold T. Kondrat.
Speaking to Capitol Intelligence, Senator Flake said that private sector companies such as Intel are leading by example in Africa. Flake said his interest in African development derived from his time as Mormon missionary in South Africa and Zimbabwe in the 1980s.
By PK Semler in Washington.
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