Metals Not Smelted

Question: In response to a Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) request, one of my company’s metal suppliers stated they do not melt tungsten ore, but grind it and then compress it under heat and pressure in a specific forming process. Because of this, they state it is impossible to identify smelters. What should my company do in this situation?

Answer: Because tungsten may not be melted down the same way as tin solder, for instance, there is often confusion about how the information necessary for a CMRT can be gathered. It is still possible to track the sources, though — after all, the tungsten had to come from somewhere!

It often helps to break down the delivery of the metal and consider where it originated. In this case, it seems likely the supplier is grinding ingots rather than the ore itself. Those ingots had to originate from a facility that removes impurities — in other words, a smelter.

Article current as of 2020-05-01.

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