Review of Industry Conflict free Smelter Programs

Ahmed, Mumtaz
(Intel Corporation )

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With the passage of Dodd-Frank Frank Law in 2010, Industry at-large faces new use restrictions on four key metals Gold (Au), Tantalum (Ta), Tin (Sn) and Tungsten (W) driven by imports from the conflict zone in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These restrictions are meant to deprive armed rebel groups of funds collected from the export of these metals which are used to bankroll the conflict in DRC. The public companies that use these minerals in production of their products are required by law to investigate their supply chain and annually certify to SEC the status of use of these minerals originating from the conflict areas of DRC. Although the law specifically does not call out only the electronic industry’s use of these materials, there is, however a general perception in the publics mind that the issue is centered around electronics since most smart phones use at least some of these minerals. The EICC (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition) and GeSI (Global e-Sustainability Initiative) jointly were asked by their members to come up with conflict free validation program that is consistent across the electronics Industry. EICC and GeSI investigated the supply chain and realized that smelters or refineries are the choke point in the supply chain of these metals from mine to end products. The Conflict Free Smelter (CFS) Program was born out of this investigation. This talk will describe how these activities and companies due diligence will lead to conflict free supply of Au, Ta, Sn and W to the electronic and other industries.

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