National Graphene Association News Today:
One of the more problematic aspects of electronic component production is its dependence on sourcing ‘conflict minerals’.
These scarce metals such as tin, silver, tungsten and indium are both rare and difficult to extract. But production in small concentrations can be lucrative for African states. An unfortunate, and sadly inevitable, aspect of this is that trade in these minerals has been used to fund armed conflicts, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The electronics industry is actively promoting ethical sources of supply for these scarce minerals, most notably through initiatives in the US and Europe. The US responded in 2009 with legislation such as the Congo Conflict Minerals Act, while in Europe a new law will become effective in 2021.
The focus of these legal initiatives is to require companies to provide the traceability necessary to ensure that their supply chains are free from conflict minerals.
Many companies decided that the simplest compliance strategy would be to avoid any trade with the DRC. But there may be an alternative which could tackle the issue of conflict minerals head-on.
The full story is available below.