2024 OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains

Forum  Agenda

Day

1 : May 21, 2024
16:00
16:00 - 18:00
Cocktail

Day

2 : May 22, 2024
06:30
06:30 - 08:00
Registration
08:00
08:00 - 09:45
Session 1 - Opening session
Welcome remarks and keynote speeches followed by a High-level opening panel (45 minutes): Leveraging government-to-government partnerships to make critical transition minerals supply more responsible and resilient. Demand for minerals that are critical to the world’s energy and digital transitions is set to grow rapidly. Governments are making sustained efforts to secure a reliable supply of transition minerals, including by establishing partnership agreements with mineral-producing countries to foster local value addition and a stable minerals supply. Successful international cooperation will be contingent on governments’ capacity to overcome barriers to investment and trade, including with mineral producing areas where corruption, security or other risks prevail lest such risks disrupt supply and compromise a just transition. This session will bring together voices from across the policymaking, business and civil society communities to explore how emerging government-to-government partnerships on these critical commodities can drive investment where it is needed while benefiting mining communities and enhancing the long-term resilience of supply in the process.
09:45
09:45 - 11:15
Lunch break
11:15
11:15 - 12:30
Session 2 - Solving the critical transition minerals investment puzzle: mobilising responsible finance and investment
A range of challenges confront policymakers and financial institutions aiming to foster responsible investment in the minerals required for the energy and digital transitions. The need for investment in the sector also evokes the ambitions of mineral producing countries to increase local value addition and promote green industrialisation pathways. Building on the opening panel and the 2023 Forum’s responsible finance session, this session will delve more deeply into the policy environment shaping obstacles to and opportunities for responsible investment. Such issues include corruption, the informal sector, adapting risk mitigation frameworks for responsible finance to high-risk jurisdictions and embedding responsible business conduct into critical minerals supply agreements.
13:00
13:00 - 14:15
Session 3 - Managing local security issues in line with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
Mine operators often contract or work with public and private security in challenging environments. Different arrangements prevail, which can lead to a range of different consequences. When this goes wrong, it harms local communities. Poor management of security and human rights, however, also compromises social license to operate and can disrupt mining projects. Mining companies tend to hire or subcontract security providers locally and are expected to address and mitigate security and human rights risks in line with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) and international labour standards. In parallel, state actors are increasingly resorting to private military companies (PMC) for securing mining operations, an emerging practice that poses new types of governance and security challenges in certain mining regions. This session will explore the multifaceted ways in which local security issues can manifest, and how mining operators can address them through enhanced collaboration and dialogue with governments, civil society organisations and other private sector representatives. The session will endeavour to address many of the following themes: • Challenges working with public security forces • Complex environments and conflict drivers • Protecting marginalized communities, including indigenous peoples • Fundamental rights at work • Vetting and the use of PMCs • Implications for due diligence
14:45
14:45 - 16:00
Session 4 - Responsible sand and silicates: implications for due diligence
Sand and silicates, in addition to clay, stones and other aggregates, play a vital role in a diverse range of sectors, spanning electronics, renewable energy and infrastructure. Fuelling our modern societies and economies as well as providing indispensable materials for local development, sand and silicates extraction are reaching extraordinary volumes making them the second most widely consumed natural resource on the globe, after water. The social and environmental impacts associated with the extraction of these materials, alongside supply concerns, have long been overlooked. Building on a year-long dialogue and research project involving companies in the sand and silicate supply chain, civil society organisations and researchers, this session will delve into the key characteristics and dynamics of sand and silicates supply chains, and explore how due diligence can help address key risks and source these materials more responsibly.

Day

3 : May 23, 2024
07:30
07:30 - 08:45
Session 5 - Control points: due diligence expectations and incentives for smelters and refiners
The OECD Minerals Guidance sets out a unique role for smelters and refiners as identified points for due diligence audits along mineral supply chains. Articulating the division of responsibilities for upstream and downstream actors, the recommendations of the Guidance on control points are intended to foster a rationalised system of engagement and leverage throughout the supply chain aimed at effectively mitigating Annex II risks. However, observations from a range of stakeholders over the years have suggested that, in practice, there are serious shortcomings to how this system is functioning, in partcular due to limited due diligence information being collected and passed on downstream, variability in the determinants for leverage and visibility across supply chains, and a due diligence exercise that is too perfunctory, allowing audits to substitute for other forms of due diligence instead of inform them. The session will focus on due diligence expectations for smelters and refiners, and leverage lessons learnt from past Alignment Assessment exercises and discussions at meetings of the Network of International Gold Trading Centres.
09:15
09:15 - 10:30
Session 6 - Mineral sourcing from Myanmar: raising awareness on serious adverse impacts across different supply chains
A significant share of global supply of heavy rare earth elements (REEs) is mined in Myanmar, which is also one of the world’s largest tin producers. While both tin and REEs are crucial to the fabrication of a wide range of clean energy technologies and electronics applications, serious risks and obstacles to due diligence have emerged for sourcing from the country. Transnational criminal networks have mushroomed in the country and armed groups, including both those aligned with and opposed to the military junta have been involved in the minerals sector. Annex II risks of the OECD Minerals Guidance manifest in multiple ways, highlighting the need to ensure a global scope for company due diligence, and address dilemmas related to access restrictions, challenges to applying leverage and responsible disengagement when appropriate.
10:30
10:30 - 12:00
Lunch break
12:00
12:00 - 13:15
Session 7 - Policy cohesion in an evolving regulatory landscape: promoting mutually supportive implementation of market and regulatory due diligence requirements
Regulatory frameworks, legislation and market requirements for due diligence and responsible business conduct in mineral supply chains continue to evolve, with different models being used to support responsible sourcing expectations. In particular, environmental impacts have been a topic of growing concern, with policymakers looking to embed environmental considerations into mineral supply chain due diligence legislations. This session will look at how diverse such approaches have become, spanning reporting requirements, recognition of voluntary audit and due diligence schemes, spot checks, or expectations for provenance and specific risk and geographic scopes. It will look both at where market requirements and legislation may be distinct but mutually supportive, but also ways in which divergent approaches could trigger fragmentation and friction and contemplate ways to address such challenges.
13:45
13:45 - 15:00
Session 8 - Illicit trade risks in gold supply chains from Latin America
The illicit trade in gold has become a significant concern for governments in Latin America, which have initiated key reforms to enhance transparency in the mining and metals sector. As highlighted by the OECD and other organisations' reports, the sector continues to be exploited by non-state armed groups, with devastating harms to the environment and local communities. The networks involved span the wider region and globe, involving military and political elites, militant groups, domestic gangs, and transnational criminal organisations making use of regional gold transit hubs and maritime shipping to facilitate the illegal trade in gold. This session will explore the current most acute challenges, and steps companies and governments can take to address related risks.