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What are the Conflict-Minerals Mined in Africa

What are Conflict-Minerals Mined in Africa

Conflict-Minerals 3TG. Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank-Act; disclosing the use of the conflict-minerals or 3TG, tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten in Africa.

What are the Conflict-Minerals Mined in Africa

Conflict minerals have fueled and continue to help fund and sustain armed violence in Africa. Companies that are required to file a Conflict-Minerals Report must exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of their conflict minerals.

Why are conflict minerals called conflict minerals?

Food is not the main imported item into Africa however; machinery and equipment top the list. Machinery and equipment used to mine minerals. Pick any household electronic at random such as a cell phone, a remote control, or a laptop and it probably contains minerals mined in Africa.

Tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold are some of the four minerals that are most often linked to armed-conflicts and related human rights abuses in Africa.

Materials used to make cell phone have a direct influence on human rights in Africa. Conflict minerals extracted in conflict zones are sold to spread and fund warfare throughout mineral rich Africa as conflict-minerals have fueled and continue to help fund and sustain armed violence in Africa.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially infrastructure in and around the capital. Much of the conflict was fueled by control over Liberia’s natural mineral resources.

During the Sierra Leone civil war from 1991-2002, cutting off people's’ limbs, in most cases their hands were one of the brutal strategies used by members of the Revolutionary United Front to terrify people to support them. Some 27,000 Sierra Leoneans are estimated to have been disabled or have had one or more of their limbs amputated during the civil war.

The Democratic Republic of Congo continues to experience violence committed by other armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Allied Democratic Forces, and assorted Mai Mai militias. It is believed minerals in conflict areas are fueling the clashes and fights because armed groups are using forced labor to sell the minerals tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold for weapons.

An Unexploded Ordnance or UXOs are explosive weapons such as bombs, shells, grenades, landmines, naval mines, etc. that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were discarded.

Africa has 54 countries, there are 15 African countries fighting wars and involved with perpetual violence. Sadly, 27 percent of people on the African continent are directly affected by bloodshed, and mayhem, many due to unethical sourcing of minerals in conflict zones.

What is Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act as it relates to conflict minerals?

Conflict-Minerals funding war in Africa
Funding war in Africa
There has been a leak of a proposed executive order from Donald Trump on the temporary 2-year repeal Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act disclosing the use of conflict minerals.

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue rules requiring certain companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production of a product” manufactured by those companies. Under the Act, those minerals include tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten.

Congress enacted Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act because of concerns that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by Militia and corrupt businesspersons is helping to finance conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbors by contributing to war and human misery of millions.

Conflict Minerals Report

Conflict Mineral as defined in the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1502(e)(4) means: (A) columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, gold, wolframite, or their derivatives; or (B) any other mineral or its derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country. 

Under Section 1502, a company that uses conflict minerals is required to conduct a reasonable country of origin inquiry that must be performed in good faith and be reasonably designed to determine whether any of its minerals originated in the covered countries or are from scrap or recycled sources.

Companies that are required to file a Conflict Minerals Report must exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of their conflict minerals.

Responsible Sourcing of 3TG

According to Apple's 2015 Conflict Minerals Report released March 2016, Apple has all smelters and refiners in Apple’s supply chain participating in a Third Party Audit program. 

Third Party Audits typically involve an examination of individual purchasing transactions on a sample, basis to assess the reasonableness and effectiveness of conflict mineral sourcing practices at the particular smelter or refiner. Apple principally supports the work of the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative or CFSI.

Materials used to make cell phone have a direct  influence on human rights in Africa
Materials used to make cell phone have a direct
influence on human rights in Africa

Apple states in 2016,” it focused its attention to two key areas: enhancing due diligence in the gold supply chain and helping improve local incident reporting and issue resolution.  

Apple plans to continue to review in detail credible reports of incidents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring countries that may potentially connect to Apple’s supply chain and confirm the transparent reporting and resolution of any incidents related to armed groups where these incidents may reasonably relate to its supply chain.”

Additionally, Apple stated it intends to further its efforts to drive smelters and refiners to comply with Third-Party Audits, and Apple will continue to remove from its supply chain those smelters or refiners that do not comply, the ultimate objective is protecting human rights in the African Region.

Did you know?
3TG is a sign commonly used for four minerals; 3TG is Tungsten, Tantalum, Tin, and Gold. The 3T's stand for Tungsten, Tantalum, Tin and the G stands for gold. 3TG are the most common conflict minerals.

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