Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 22:47 UK

UK firm ends Congo tin purchases

By Karen Allen
BBC East Africa correspondent

Mining has long been associated with rights abuses

British metals giant AMC has announced it is to suspend purchases of tin ore from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The mineral is much used for electronic components and mobile phones.

The move follows international concern that much Congolese fighting is financed by sales of scarce or valuable minerals by the warring factions.

Although it is not illegal, the militarisation of mining in the Congo has long been associated with horrific human rights abuses.

The minerals are used to prop up a multimillion pound global electronics and mobile phone market.

In a statement AMC has now confirmed that its subsidiary is suspending all purchases of tin ore from the region.

Although the tin industry has sought to tighten up due diligence procedures, its been criticised by campaigners for being slow to move on the issue.

AMC said it did not take the decision to pull out lightly, but said adverse coverage by the international media was undermining the credibility of the process.

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