By Michelle Graff
Vicenza, Italy--CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, announced Monday that a session addressing the regulation of minerals from areas of conflict in Africa and their impact on the jewelry industry will be held during the Vicenzaoro winter trade show this January.

Titled “Conflict mineral legislation in the Europe and the United States: How it impacts on both the domestic and export jewellery business,” the seminar is being organized by Fiera di Vicenza, the Responsible Jewellery Council, CIBJO and Confindustria Federorafi.

It will take place Jan. 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Palladio Room at Fiera di Vicenza.

Corrado Facco, managing director of Fiera di Vicenza, and Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO, will serve as moderators for the session.

Panelists include Marieke van der Mijn, standards coordinator at the Responsible Jewellery Council; Michael Allchin, chief executive and assay master at the Birmingham Assay Office and the president of the CIBJO Precious Metals Commission;  Philip Olden, responsible for managing the development and implementation of responsible sourcing protocols for gold at Signet Jewelers; and Maria Benedetta Francesconi of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and a representative of Confindustria Federorafi.

Fiera di Vicenza, the host of the event, was accredited in March through CIBJO to plan and implement a United Nations-endorsed Corporate Social Responsibility program for the international jewelry industry.

Both the United States and the European Union have passed “conflict” mineral legislation in recent years in reaction to ongoing violence in parts of Africa.

The U.S. law was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2012. It addresses trade in minerals--specifically gold, tungsten, tantalum and tin--produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the nine neighboring countries where violence occurs around the transportation and production of these minerals.

The law dictates that companies that are listed with the SEC and use any of these minerals in products they manufacture or contract to manufacture must conduct an inquiry into the source of their minerals.

Depending on the results of the inquiry, the companies also might be required to conduct supply chain due diligence to determine if the minerals they handled benefitted armed groups in one of the 10 covered countries, and to report publicly if their products are not “conflict free.”

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee has an online guide for those that have questions about the U.S.’s conflict mineral law.

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