Apple, Intel-backed rules on ‘conflict minerals’ stall exports

“Rules backed by Apple Inc. and Intel Corp. to stop sales of minerals used in electronics from funding war in Central Africa took effect today, forcing miners from the region to seek new buyers in Asia, according to exporters,” Michael J. Kavanagh reports for Bloomberg. “‘There is a de-facto embargo, it’s very clear,’said John Kanyoni, president of the mineral exporters association of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. ‘We’re committed to continue with all these programs. But at the same time we’re traveling soon to Asia to find alternatives.'”

“The Conflict-Free Smelter program applies to shipments of tin ore, tungsten, gold and coltan from Congo and its neighbors and demands mineral processors prove purchases don’t contribute to conflict in eastern Congo,” Kavanagh reports. “The regulations were developed by the Washington-based Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and Global E-Sustainability Initiative in Brussels, representing electronics companies including Intel and Apple.”

Kavanagh reports, “Congo is struggling to cut links between armed groups and the mineral trade that have fueled more than a decade of war in eastern provinces. The country is the largest producer of tin ore in Africa and has significant reserves of coltan, tungsten and gold, almost all mined by independent diggers.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Great idea! Ban the “unethical” mining of minerals, then declare open war when African cartels predictably turn to producing illegal drugs instead. We all know how well embargoes worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. The only thing this will accomplish (beyond corporate political piety) is a laundering agency somewhere in Asia where the minerals will be bought and resold, source undisclosed.

        1. … you were responding to two people who showed they are “utterly intolerant of the views and opinions of others”. Yet you seem to accuse only one of being a “progressive lib Dem”. Where are you drawing the line? Would it be where he dares disagree with your cynical view of the world? Is that what makes him a progressive? Or a “lib”? Or a “Dem”? And, since when is being a “progressive” a “Bad Thing”? It is my understanding that Progressives are intent on helping make life fairer, better, for the vast majority of people. I can see why those who have an unfair advantage at the moment would see this as a Bad Thing, does that include you? If you are so well advantaged, why are you wasting your time conversing with those of us who are merely getting along? Thus, chances are you are NOT. Thus, you must either be supporting your oppressors or hoping against hope that you will somehow manage to switch sides. So … when did you fall on your head?

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