"Use of 'Conflict Minerals' Gets More Scrutiny From U.S."

"An iPhone can do a lot of things. But can it arm Congolese rebels?

That is the question being debated by a battalion of lobbyists from electronics makers, mining companies and international aid organizations that has descended on the Securities and Exchange Commission in recent months seeking to influence the drafting of a Dodd-Frank regulation that has nothing to do with the financial crisis."

"Tacked onto the end of that encyclopedic digest of financial reform is an odd provision. It requires publicly traded companies whose products use certain minerals commonly mined in strife-torn areas of Central Africa to report to shareholders and the S.E.C. whether their mineral supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The measure is aimed at cutting off the brutal militia groups that have often taken over the mining and sale of so-called conflict minerals to finance their military aims. Just about every company affected by the law says they support it, but many business groups have also been pushing aggressively to put wiggle room in the restrictions, calling for lengthy phase-in periods, exemptions for minimal use of the minerals and loose definitions of what types of uses are covered. "

Edward Wyatt reports for the New York Times March 19, 2012.


"Pollution The Big Barrier To Freer Trade In Rare Earths" (Reuters)

Source: NY Times, 03/21/2012