At Source Intelligence we engage suppliers, collect, verify and assess conflict minerals-related data and generate the required forms and reports needed for companies to comply with the SEC's final rule. Therefor we have tracked and sourced all the the 3TG.
Dodd-Frank 1502 does not force companies to stop using conflict minerals, only to perform due diligence on their supply chain to discover if their products contain conflict minerals. However we are seeing that once publicly traded U.S. based companies do this, they are starting to pull away from suppliers that either won't source their products or use conflict minerals in their products.
Conflict mineral information in not well know by consumers, but once they start demanding conflict-free products, we will see an even greater rise in regulations in the DRC, effectively decreasing mine related violence.
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The thing is, it all seems almost imaginary to the average american. The conflict and suffering only shows up occassionally in movies and on TV. It is so psycologically far away that it doesn't seem like a real issue.
While I appreciate the regulations against the use of conflict minerals by the electronic industry, I also feel that there is a need to track the use of the end products to check whether they end up in the use for illegal activities like criminal activities, terrorism etc.
I see Zambia (just to the north of my old stamping ground of Zimbabwe) gets a mention, though Zimbabwe does not. Zimbabwe's conflict mineral is diamonds. Just when the international pressure (not to mention bankruptcy) was beginning to squeeze the Mugabe regime, an almost unimaginably rich diamond field was discovered. And quickly taken over, violently, by the government. So Mugabe's got no more worries for a few more years. Same principle, different country, different mineral.
Really, the developed world getting iphones with conflict minerals in them is no different to getting clothes produced in sweatshops in Bangladesh. Until we start forcing some standards on the offending countries, nothing is going to change, and we're contributing to human misery.
very interesting. I am curious to find out how much of conflict minerals chip vendors use these days are coming from those countries you mentioned in the story...do they need to go out of their way to change their CM suppliers at this point?
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