INTERVIEW: Malaysia Smelting Corp nurtures African ambition

Apr 26, 2012 | 02:07 AM |

Malaysia Smelting Corp (MSC) has engaged with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda to tackle the conflict minerals issue because Africa is the “next frontier” for the tin sector, group deputy ceo Chua Cheong Yong told Metal Bulletin. The world’s second-biggest tin smelter claims to be the only foreign company buying tin concentrate from the DRC, after most others were driven away by the challenges involved in building an untainted supply chain. “MSC looked at the whole situation and decided to stay engaged. We believe it’s not the right decision to move away from the Congo,” Chua said on the sidelines of the International Tin Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Chua, who was named as deputy ceo in early April after a 30-year career with MSC, is responsible for the company’s international smelting, and its business in Africa. The company now buys around 15-20% of its tin concentrate from the DRC, Chua said. This is around 700-1,000 tpm, compared to about 200-400 tpm for most of the 1990s, he added. Conflict concerns Last decade, allegations that mining revenues were funding armed conflict in central Africa spurred a global campaign – led by non-governmental organisations and the United Nations – to stop the trading and use of conflict-linked raw materials. “We had been taking in tin materials from Africa for the past twenty years. There were many other foreign buyers of African tin then,” Chua said. “But in 2005 to 2006, all issues of conflict minerals started....

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