Companies Struggle to Comply With Rules on Conflict Minerals (NYT)

A complex provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law requires companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals “necessary to the functionality or production” of products they make or contract out for manufacturing. Conflict minerals are tantalum, tungsten, tin or gold mined from ore, and extracted in Congo or nine surrounding countries, including Angola, Rwanda and Sudan. Minerals from the countries, long mired in civil war, violence, acts of rape and the use of child soldiers, appear in a variety of products. Tantalum, for example, allows Apple’s iPhone to maintain an electrical charge. Tungsten permits the filaments in General Electric light bulbs to get hot enough to emit a bright light without melting, and tin gives party balloons their special sheen.

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