Almost half of firms ‘not prepared’ for conflict minerals US deadline

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
21 January 2014

21 January 2014 | Will Green

Almost half of global companies are not prepared for a US deadline concerning the use of conflict minerals from Africa in electronic components, according to a survey.

The poll, by research organisation IHS, found 42 per cent of firms “professed uncertainty” in how to meet new regulations that come into force in May.

The rules state publicly-traded electronics component manufacturers doing business in the US must report any use of conflict minerals sourced from Africa to the government.

The survey, covering 162 firms from across the globe, revealed 30 per cent were concerned about non-compliance with US regulations, 28 per cent feared losing clients and a fifth were concerned about “not having responsible supply chains”.

According to IHS, conflict minerals are mainly sourced from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries.

The minerals include tin, tungsten, gold and tantalum, which are used in electronics products from mobile phones to pacemakers. IHS estimated 15 cents (9 pence) worth of tantalum was used in every mobile phone, adding up to £93 million (£57 million) in 2012.

The protocols on conflict minerals took effect in August 2012 under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, with initial reporting legally required by May 2014.

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