Video & article clarify what "conflict minerals" are & what companies are required to do under US legislation

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19 August 2011

Clearing the confusion over conflict minerals

Author: Marshall Chase, BSR in Guardian [UK]

More than a year after the passage of a US law requiring companies to report on their use of "conflict minerals" there continues to be confusion about what conflict minerals are and what companies are required to do. Compounding the issue, some press reports misstate the law, saying that companies are required to avoid using conflict minerals when instead they are required to conduct and report on due diligence on this issue. Other reports focus on cobalt and copper from the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – materials that are neither classified as conflict minerals, nor come from a conflict zone area. In our work with companies on this issue, we often find it helpful to start by developing a clear definition of what "conflict minerals" should mean for a specific company...From our perspective, there are three core aspects of the definition: material type, geography of origin, and relationship to the conflict. How a company chooses to define each of those three areas has significant implications for how they address it. [refers to Motorola Solutions]

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1 May 2011

[PDF] Conflict Minerals and the DRC: An Overview

Author: Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

This report offers an introduction to the key issues related to conflict minerals from the DRC. It gives an initial overview of the key minerals involved, their supply chains and contribution to the conflict. It then examines three areas for action, highlighting the need for holistic approaches that align and encourage communication among efforts in all areas as well as noting potential opportunities for corporate and stakeholder engagement in existing efforts. These action areas are: Supply chain responsibility; Government engagement;Economic development and capacity-building...Public commitments not to purchase conflict minerals or include conflict minerals in any final products, supported by substantive supply chain efforts...Internal procurement review and engagement with suppliers to identify and address potential conflict mineral use and sources in company supply chains...Work with community-based efforts to ensure local benefit from mining revenues...[refers to AMC, Traxys, Banro Gold, Dell, HP, Intel, Motorola, Philips]

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