Conflict Minerals Explained

If you are in the manufacturing world, you have probably heard of the new disclosure and reporting requirements for Conflict Minerals. Although there is a lot of hype around the new topic, there still may be some confusion over what it is and why its important for international manufacturers. First off, what are “conflict minerals?”

Conflict Minerals: Minerals that contain cassiterite, columbrite-tantalite, gold, and wolframite that are “outside the supply chain” only after they have been smelted or refined. These minerals pertain to countries of conflict which include: Democtratic Republic of the Congo, Congo Republic, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Zambia, Angola, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda.These countries are of conflict due to the extreme levels of violence which has claimed more than 5.4 million lives in the past 20 years. The violence of these countries is being driven by the use of these minerals.

conflict minerals - countriesTo give you a little history, back in 2010 Congress enacted legislation which would require companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, whose primary function is to enforce federal securities laws and regulate the security industry in the US) issued final rule to implement the new disclosure requirements for manufacturers of products within the electronics, communications, aerospace, automotive, jewelry, and industrial industries. This SEC disclosure is not only for the manufacturers, but also to those contracted to manufacture, which affect the entire supply chain. The goal is to eliminate American companies from sourcing minerals from these countries in order to stop supporting the violence that’s being funded by using these minerals. As a result, companies are required to eliminate the use of these minerals from these countries, and to provide proof of their due diligence to not support these countries as their corporate social responsibility.

congo_conflict_mineralsThis topic can be controversial from a political standpoint, but the intentions are to basically not get involved with counties that poorly treat their citizens. By eliminating the use of these minerals that originate from these countries, the U.S. is taking a stand to not support these types of countries from a human rights view, and to not add fuel to the fire so to speak.

Here at Vista Industrial Products, Inc., we are taking corporate responsibility to not source any of our materials that we use for manufacturing from these countries. In addition, we are also mandating our suppliers to do the same. This will ensure that the products we manufacture for all of our customers are conflict free.

If you are looking for a manufacturer of metal parts and looking to comply with this new requirement, please contact us today for a quote!

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