U.K.-based tin-industry association ITRI recently signed agreements with two Asian organizations to cover co-operation in a number of key areas involving tin utilization and industry information dissemination. In late May, ITRI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA), a major association within China representing the non-ferrous metals sector, functioning as a bridge between government and industry. It has approximately 750 members and actively develops international cooperation and development. The primary and secondary producers of tin and tin products form part of the CNIA membership.

ITRI, a membership-based organization that represents tin producers and smelters, said it and CNIA will work together to support the use of tin in China and will promote a “sustainable, stable and healthy” industry. This will be accomplished by sharing data and information and by cooperation on issues such as recycling, health and safety, community development and the environment.

At a meeting held in Hangzhou, China, on May 26, the two organizations signed the MoU and committed to initiatives in the following areas:

  • Statistics–Integrate tin statistics from China into the global tin statistics which are collected and disseminated by ITRI.
  • Health and Safety–Cooperate on projects that extend scientific knowledge on the behavior of tin in humans and the environment and ensure the safe use of the metal and its compounds; consider projects to share information on best working practices.
  • Standards–Exchange information on national and international tin related standards on environmental management and human health.
  • Environment–Exchange information on tin production and process management to promote clean and sustainable production.
  • Recycling–Cooperate on studies to understand and promote tin recycling and projects aimed at efficient use of natural resources.

David Bishop, chief executive of ITRI, said: “ITRI and CNIA have joint goals in supporting a healthy tin industry based on economic growth, sound environment and community benefit. China is the world’s largest tin producing country and the biggest user of the metal. We are therefore delighted to be strengthening our ties with CNIA and working to the mutual benefit of the industry.”

ITRI said it also signed a MoU with the Tin Industry (Research and Development) Board of Malaysia.The two organizations, which already have existing ties, agreed to encourage and promote cooperation in research, development and commercialization of tin-based technologies in Malaysia. 

The Tin Board will work with ITRI to implement an initial set of collaborative R&D projects based around new materials for energy, electronics and polymer application.  Practical work programs will be coordinated between Malaysian universities and research institutes, and ITRI’s laboratories in the UK. 

Collaboration between ITRI and the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), has already begun, with new projects in lithium ion battery technology, fire retardants and tin-based fuel catalysts.  Initial assignment of a UiTM research student to ITRI will take place this year in a program partly funded by ITRI and the Tin Board.