Conflict mineral regulations still delayed

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are still wrestling with how to implement new regulations that require companies to disclose whether they use conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Dodd Frank Act passed in 2010 included this conflict mineral legislation but it still has not been implemented by the SEC.  The US Chamber of Commerce has been arguing that it would be too costly and difficult to implemented as drafted, whilst conflict mineral campaigners argue that any dilution would let companies off the hook. The SEC now looks set to give companies a phase in period to implement the regulations.

Nonetheless the prospect of the regulations already seems to be having some impact on the ground in Congo with Global Witness reporting last year that one of the largest mines had been abandoned by the military potentially as a result of the legislation.


Intel sets goal to make first conflict-free chip by 2013

Intel has taken a big step forward by publicly stating its aim to make “the world’s first verified, conflict-free microprocessor by 2013.” Whilst other companies have programmes in place to clean up their supply chains, no one has gone this far in making a commitment to make a conflict free product. This really throws down the challenge to other manufacturers.

Interestingly their video is presented by the COO and includes an engineer who was flown out to Congo (ie not just corporate responsibility reps), suggesting how seriously they are taking this.