Original article posted here.
Published on: 27th Aug 2012
The USA’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted rules that require companies to declare their use of so-called “conflict minerals” in consumer electronics.
The rule was mandated in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, but has only now been enacted by the SEC. As a result, companies are now required to publicly disclose their use of conflict minerals that originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country.
The minerals concerned include tantalum (coltan), tin, gold, or tungsten if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production of a product” manufactured by those companies.
Many of those materials, coltan especially are essential for modern electronics components.
“I am pleased that the Commission has finalized this very challenging project in such a thoughtful manner,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “We have received significant public input on this rulemaking, and in response we incorporated many changes from the proposal that are designed to address concerns about the costs. I believe the final rule faithfully implements the statutory requirement as mandated by Congress in a fair and balanced manner.”
The rule doesn’t ban the use of minerals mined in the DRC, but if they do come from that country, then they must prove that none of the money went to warlords or other illegal recipients.