Lately, we have been receiving a lot of enquiries about conflict minerals. The term “conflict metals” or “conflict minerals” refers to metals produced from minerals extracted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or its neighbouring countries and whose sale directly or indirectly finances or otherwise supports the armed rebel groups in those regions.
The basis for the current debate in the electrical/electronics industry about the use of conflict metals is an initiative of American legislature. In July 2010, the US Congress passed an act aimed at thwarting black-market trade of minerals from the Congo and its neighbouring countries and reviving legal trade. In accordance with the act, American companies are obliged to declare whether they are using minerals from the Congo or its neighbouring countries and in what products they are used. The law applies to products that contain tin (Sn), tantalum (Ta), gold (Au) or tungsten (W).
Companies based outside the USA have no obligation to obey the act, to inform those companies directly concerned, or even to submit a legally binding confirmation in regard to this point.
Indeed, this is hardly possible, given the many problems of proof when it comes to raw materials. However, we can assure you that we have thoroughly verified our supply streams.
We do not obtain such materials directly from the Congo or its neighbouring countries. We do not process any goods whose originating country as declared on the certificate of origin matches any of the countries listed at the end of this article.
Furthermore, our suppliers who supply us with these metals and minerals as raw materials or with tinned copper wire have informed us that, to the best of their knowledge, none of the materials in question from the Congo or its neighbouring countries are processed for these raw materials or semi-finished products.
A – Columbite-tantalite
B – Cassiterite
C – Gold (Au)
D – Wolframite
or their derivatives, e.g. the metals tin (Sn), tantalum (Ta) or tungsten (W)
3. Central African Republic
4. Republic of the Congo