As part of ethical sourcing, it is crucial for buyers to verify if any of the materials they purchase contain conflict minerals.
Conflict Minerals – Mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, and that are sold or traded by armed groups.
Buyers of electronics and high-tech manufacturers have faced significant challenges in ensuring ethical sourcing of minerals. Suppliers must trace the origin of minerals to guarantee that the sources are free from corruption, human rights abuses, illegal extraction, and smuggling.
There are certain minerals, such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, cassiterite, wolframite, coltan, and gold, that may not be free from conflicts.
Sourcing Conflict-Free Minerals
Steps to ensure the sourcing of conflict-free minerals are:
Step 1: Traceback through several tiers of the supply chain to identify the mines or smelters that are providing the materials.
Step 2: Independently audit the smelters and refineries to ensure the minerals are conflict-free.
Step 3: Certify the mines are compliant with all regional and international legislation.