Congratulations to the Police for the arrest of people with untagged minerals, which has become a big business. What now needs to be done is to find out where the minerals were destined for, as the next step would be for a 'licensed' mining company to have the minerals tagged by a GMD agent to confirm the mineral was mined at the specific site. Obviously in this circumstance, the method of traceability would be illegal by both parties.
Thereafter the minerals will be sold to an 'authorised' trader who will export them without doing the due diligence and proof of traceability.
The OECD guidelines are very clear that all purchasing parties, including ITRi, must do their due diligence on the mine site from where the mineral was mined and by whom (the actual miner) - tagged on site by a GMD inspector, right through to the exporter.
The problems investors face are that the tags have now become a saleable commodity which alleviate miners from actual mining, instead allowing the trader or even the exporter to purchase the illegally tagged mineral from the "middle men" who do not mine at all.
The theft goes further, as the illegal miners and traders pay cash for the stolen minerals with statutory taxes being avoided.