It is said that more than 5.4 million people have lost their lives since 1998 (i) due to the Conflict minerals issues in the Congo where the conditions there are similar to the “blood diamonds” issue in the sense that they are almost identical in the creations of wars and inequalities that plague areas where these items are mined and sold. The conditions of the people working in the mines which were taken over by rebels resemble one of slavery and the conditions are inhumane.
In relation to Electronic Components, the materials which are used to create electronic components contain conflict minerals are cassiterite used in tin, wolframite which is utilized for tungsten, coltan which is a main component found in tantalum, and gold ore which is used in multiple electronic component devices. These materials are mainly extracted from the Eastern Congo and passed through a multitude of companies before being purchased by multinational electronics companies for production of electronic components.
Conflict Minerals refers to the natural resources which come from areas which have been deemed as Conflict Zones. These areas are better known as areas in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Materials from the area there perpetuate the fighting and killings of the people that live there. These areas are known to be dominated by war and controlled by rebels, armies and most often child soldiers.
How does this affect you? Well if you are a US manufacturer you now have to abide by the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which requires manufacturers to audit their supply chains and report conflict minerals usage.
“Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act relating to the use of conflict minerals. Section 1502 added Section 13(p) to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which requires the Commission to promulgate rules requiring issuers with conflict minerals that are necessary to the functionality or production of a product manufactured by such person to disclose annually whether any of those minerals originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country….. The measures taken to exercise due diligence must include an independent private sector audit of the report that is conducted in accordance with standards established by the Comptroller General of the United States. Section 13(p) also requires the issuer submitting the report to identify the auditor and to certify the audit. In addition, Section 13(p) requires the report to include a description of the products manufactured or contracted to be manufactured that are not “DRC conflict free,” the facilities used to process the conflict minerals, the country of 2 origin of the conflict minerals, and the efforts to determine the mine or location of origin.” (ii)
Moral and ethical businesses globally are adhering to the standard as it shows corporate responsibility and accountability for large corporations like Intel which monitor their usage of such material. Perfect parts knows that having the DRC Reports available for manufacturers products allows companies to locate products with ease that meet more rigorous standards when choosing whether to utilize a particular manufacturers products within their supply chain. Perfect Parts has full DRC reports and Substance details which help manufacturers to adhere to those standards. Many companies are taking the initiative and trying to document their supply chains and remove conflict minerals via the Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFSP). In order to help OEM’s reach requirements- Perfect Parts helps to provide DRC Reports and FMD Reports for companies which have interest in trying to reach their goals in these areas.