How a Civil War in Africa Led to Supply Chain Regulations in the U.S.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been in a brutal ongoing civil war for over 50 years. A significant portion of the funding for this conflict has come from illegal mines operated by the various warring factions.1 The ore from these mines winds up in many different products used by consumers and businesses. So, indirectly consumers and businesses have been funding the ongoing brutality.
In an effort to stem this inadvertent funding of the civil war, Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111 – 203) directed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create and enforce rules requiring public companies to disclose their use of these ‘conflict minerals.’ Section 1502 defines four conflict minerals to be disclosed—tungsten, tin, tantalum, and gold—often referred to as the “3TG” minerals. The rule does not ban the use of conflict minerals outright, but rather, requires disclosure aimed at ‘naming and shaming’ companies as a means to persuade them to use conflict-free sources.