“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.”
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