Smelters and Refiners Feel the Heat Under the Conflict Minerals Rules

News Brief

By Cydney Posner

The WSJ reports in this piece, Conflict Minerals Rule Puts Pressure on Smelters and Refiners, that, so far, the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition has designated 27 smelters and refiners as "conflict free."

According to the article, there are about 200 to 400 smelters and refiners that supply companies worldwide with the four conflict minerals, and only 27 have passed muster as conflict free under the EICC Initiative since 2010. (Sounds like quite an accomplishment to me!) The WSJ reports that "companies are scrambling to make sure their products are conflict free by tracking their supply chains back to smelters, the factories that extract metals from ore. ‘The smelters are the ones buying this material from the mines, and they are the ones who know where it's coming from,' said an [EICC representative]. The industry group said it has some 62 smelters and refiners in the audit program, which uses guidance from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on responsible mineral supply chains. Several smelters that didn't clear the bar are taking corrective actions to attain the conflict-free status."

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