Conflict-free Minerals

A look behind the scenes

Summary: Nobody wants conflict minerals in his/her mobile phone or in other high-tech devices. But the reality is different. In particular, large quantities of the tantalum used in such devices, as well as the mineral coltan, come from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and help to finance armed rebels and militias there. The following article provides a look behind the scenes. 

1 Introduction

On 31.05.2014, companies registered in the US stock market were, for the first time, obliged to disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission (Securities Exchange Commission = SEC) the use of “conflict minerals” in their products in the year 2013. The annual disclosure requirement has been a binding regulation of Section 1502 of the so-called Dodd-Frank Act since 2010. Under the term “conflict minerals” the Dodd-Frank Act understands the raw materials tin, tantalum and tungsten (3T) as well as gold, if the mining and trading of these commodities contribute to the financing...

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