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RMI Conformant Smelters

Responsible sourcing of metals is a growing global concern for businesses and consumers. The concept of RMI conformant smelters plays a critical role in ensuring that sourced metals are ethical and sustainable. Analyzing the RMI, OEDC, RJC, and LBMA criteria for a conformant smelter helps stakeholders make value-aligned choices.

RMI and Conformant Smelters

Several initiatives have been launched addressing the issue of conflict minerals to promote responsible mineral sourcing practices. The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) a global, multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to promote responsible mineral supply chains developing standards and guidelines for companies that source minerals. By promoting responsible mineral sourcing practices, these initiatives are helping to create more transparent and sustainable supply chains. The RMI has developed a set of standards and guidelines for mineral processors, including the Conformant Smelter Program.

The RMI Conformant Smelters Program

The Conformant Smelter Program is a third-party audit and certification program that assesses the performance of smelters in the responsible sourcing of minerals.

The program evaluates the performance of smelters in several areas, including:

Conflict Minerals
  • Sourcing practices: Demonstrating that sourced minerals do not contribute to conflict, human rights abuses, or environmental damage.
  • Due diligence: Implementing a due diligence process to identify and mitigate risks in their supply chain.
  • Transparency: Transparent information about their sourcing practices and supply chain.
  • Environmental and social performance: Meeting standards, including minimizing their impact on the environment and respecting the rights of workers and local communities

Those that complete an audit against the RMAP standard, or an equivalent cross-recognized assessment are recognized on the Conformant Smelter & Refiner Lists.

Cross-recognized audits include:

  • LBMA responsible Gold Guidance
  • RJC Chain-of-Custody Standard
  • RJC Code of Practices Standard


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation focused on policies based on prosperity, equality, opportunity, and well-being. The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas is a collaborative government-backed set of parameters for sourcing conflict minerals. The RMI, LBMA, and RJC implement these parameters.

The OECD outlines a five-step framework for due diligence, which includes:

  1. Establish a strong company management system: Create policies and enforce a management system that enables smelters to identify and mitigate risks associated with conflict minerals.
  2. Identify and assess risks in the supply chain: Being conscious of the impact and location of their minerals.
  3. Design and implement a strategy to respond to identified risk
  4. Carry out independent third-party audits of supply chain due diligence.
  5. Report on supply chain due diligence.
OECD RMI Conformant Smelters


The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) promotes responsible sourcing and ethical practices in the global precious metals. Conformant smelters refer to those that continuously adhere to the LBMA responsible sourcing standards:

  • Responsible Gold Guidance
  • Responsible Silver Guidance
  • Guidance for Platinum and Palladium

Additionally, the refiner must undergo checks on:

  • History in the market
  • Financial standing
  • Ability to produce bars that meet LBMA exact standards
  • Minimum levels of production.

These guidelines ensure that gold and silver from refiners meet OECD, and government criteria. Those that adhere become a part of the Good Delivery List.

RMI Conformant Smelters


Similarly, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is an internationally recognized organization that promotes ethical practices and responsible sourcing in the jewellery industry incompliance with the OECD.

The RJC sets standards:

  • Code of Practices 2019: Ethical, social, human rights and environmental practices
  • Chain of Custody 2017: Fully traceable and responsible sourcing practices
RJC RMI Conformant Smelters

Members of the RJC undergo a certification process to ensure that member companies uphold high standards of ethical behaviour, environmental stewardship, and respect for human rights throughout the jewellery supply chain. Those that successfully obtain their certification are listed on the RJC Member Register.

Non RMI Conformant Smleters

High-risk smelters and refiners are unfortunately essential components in the world’s mineral supply chain. However, operating them raises social, environmental, and ethical concerns. These refiners and smelters, located in areas with abundant natural resources, are known for their unethical labour practises, human rights violations, and environmental harm. These operations typically expose workers to toxic chemicals, dangerous working conditions, etc. Additionally, these locations are frequently involved in the illegal mineral trade, which supports war and human rights violations. All stakeholders in the supply chain must be aware of the dangers posed by these operations and support initiatives such as RMI, OECD, LBMA, and RJC that encourage ethical and sustainable mineral sourcing.

High risk Smelters

Conflict Minerals

Conflict minerals refer to minerals mined under circumstances of armed conflict, violations of human rights, or labour exploitation. Furthermore, many of these mines controlled by armed groups and militias that use the proceeds from the sale to fund their corrupt operations. Contributing to ongoing regional conflicts and the displacement of millions of locals. The Dodd-Frank Act in the United States governs the claims made about four conflict minerals, the “3TGs” for the mines in the Democratic Rebuplic of Congo. Regulation #2017/821 similarly governs these minerals in Europe.

The 3TGS

  • Tin: Commonly used for coating minerals to prevent corrosion, as an alloying element (in bronze, pewter etc.), and in electronic parts (capacitors, transistors, etc.).
  • Tantalum: Frequently used in electronic components, capacitors, and aerospace.
  • Tungsten: Often used in manufacturing electrical contacts, filaments for lightbulbs, and as an alloy in cutting tools, missiles, and spacecraft.
  • Gold: Due to its value, scarcity, and anti-tarnishing primarily used in jewellery. Additionally, used in electronics.
Conflict Minerals Enviropass

Additional Conflict Minerals

The current in-forced legislations only address the 3TGs many other minerals raise concerns. Prominently cobalt and mica. Cobalt’s primary use is as a component in rechargeable batteries used in smartphones, electric cars etc. Whereas mica is an insulator in electrical equipment, and is used in plastics, magnets, and paint. The RMI has published the EMRT template to address the concerns with these minerals.


The Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) was created by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). The CMRT is a free, standardised reporting template that streamlines the flow of information on the country of origin of minerals and the smelters and refiners being used across the supply chain.

CMRT EMRT rmi cahras procedure guidance

Questions on RMI Conformant Smelters and the organisations that govern them? Contact Enviropass!