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Navigating Corruption Risks in Transition Mineral Supply Chains

On 25 March 2024 Ludivine Wouters moderated a panel discussion on "Dirty business for a cleaner future? Navigating Corruption Risks in Transition Mineral Supply Chains" in the context of the OECD's 2024 Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum.


The panel included Jan Bollmann, Advisor for Resource Governance with GIZ; Richard Morgan, Head of Government and International Relations with Anglo American; François Valérian, Chair of Transparency International; Jamie Wallisch, Regulatory & Sustainability Expert with Assent Compliance; Monica Chipanta Mwansa, Deputy Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission of Zambia; Baby Matabishi, Revenues & EITI Coordinator, Extractive Industry Governance Program for DRC with the Carter Center; and Pavlo Verkhniatskyi, Managing Partner of COSA.



In an age of intense focus on value chains, significant policy attention focuses on how minerals are sourced, commercialised, extracted and processed, and these operations have become both the stakes and tools of geostrategic realignment and competition. It is key that integrity be at the heart of these shifting dynamics, just as governance is at the heart of a Just Transition - because there is no responsibility, no performance, no sustainability where corruption entails erosion of trust, misuse of power and waste of resources.


Integrity is therefore one of the areas of focus spotlighted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in their December 2023 Guidance for Policy Makers on Sustainable and Responsible Critical Mineral Supply Chains – working from the premise and circling back to the conclusion that “critical mineral supply chains cannot be truly secure, reliable and resilient unless they are also sustainable and responsible” and that all actors – governments, companies, observers and stakeholders – have a role in driving improved environmental and social performance and the good governance which enables it. This followed an OECD Briefing Note in September 2023 in the context of the IEA’s inaugural Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Summit delivering six commitments including the acceleration of diversification in mineral supply chains, promotion of transparency in markets and reliable data, incentivising responsible operations – including integrity – and fostering international collaboration. All of these actions are at risk from corruption and aim, in part, to constrain opportunities for or reduce the profitability of corruption.


Addressing corruption in mineral value chains has long been on the agenda and at the heart of the OECD’s work on responsible business conduct, including the 2021 FAQ on How to address bribery and corruption risks in mineral supply chains and advising the Expert Group on Preventing Corruption in Transition Minerals convened by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) to develop a set of key recommendations to tackle corruption in mineral supply chains.


The panel touched on many themes and experiences in countering corruption at all levels of mineral value chains - our main takeaways are summarised below. It was followed by several days of other convenings and panel discussions, including the main sessions for which recordings are available on the Forum website under "All Replays". Thanks to the OECD team for another great gathering and the many ideas and connections that stemmed from it.



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