Conflict Minerals is defined as: “Minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses…” (SourceIntelligence). These include: Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten (3Ts) and Gold. They are found within cars, some sports equipment, electronics and jewelry.The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a mineral-rich country in Central Africa. The issue behind it is simply violence. A war – Known as the “Bloodiest Conflict since WWII”. We, in North America, are so far removed from what is going on behind the scenes of the smallest things that make ie) our phone.
This area is not my strongest field and I admit I don’t know much about it. I figure now is the perfect opportunity to learn about it together. You hear the term so often and it has been a topic being featured more in the media. Those who have more info on it, feel free to share in the comments section below.
If you got 38 minutes to spare, this is my favourite video that helps depict the situation with Conflict Minerals and life in the Congo. Almost 1.5 million views for this video – it must mean something about it.
There is currently one protection act in place called the “Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act” Section 1502: Conflict Minerals. Launched in 2012 and helps in describing and reporting for issuers whose products contain the minerals mentioned above. I haven’t found this to be embedded into all auditing firms as it is a fairly difficult thing to trace. For sure, it has not been embedded into the majority of companies. I blame them, yet I also don’t. They should know where their products are being made/sourced. I don’t blame them that it is difficult to trace at times. There’s a lot of underground “dirty” work that makes it almost impossible to follow but that’s where the growing concern is. Why is it that hard to find where a certain metal comes from!? I found PWC to be informative in providing updates in this world.
The Ponder On: The life and reality of two worlds. Small actions, even if we feel desensitized or far removed from it, can make a grand statement. Who is to say we need to constantly upgrade our phone, our TVs or our computers? There is never a need but we do it. We are all (people, corporations, miners, money makers, etc…) at fault.
Photo Source: PBS