RSN White Paper - What’s Needed: An Overview of Multi-Stakeholder and Industry Activities to Achieve Conflict-Free Minerals

Today, RSN released a white paper entitled “What’s Needed: An Overview of Multi-Stakeholder and Industry Activities to Achieve Conflict-Free Minerals” authored by Karen Sumie Runde and Nicole Sowers and edited by Patricia Jurewicz.

This paper addresses how companies can answer an international call to action by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Congolese are asking for help to end the conflict in the eastern part of their country which has claimed the lives of over five million people and has led to the rape of hundreds of thousands of women.

Because the violent rebel groups propagating this conflict are largely financed by the mining of precious minerals, is not surprising that the Dodd-Frank Act included Section 1502 on conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold).

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its final 1502 rule last August and companies are now implementing systems to collect the information they need to comply with the rule. Leading companies are going a step further by contributing to conflict-free certification schemes and closed-pipe sources of certified conflict-free minerals.

However, disclosing conflict minerals and having a responsible supply chain are not enough. Many more companies need to get involved and those involved need to do more.

This paper gives an overview of initiatives for investors and companies new to the issue. It highlights the need for a holistic approach to solving the problem of conflict minerals that includes:

  • Implementing transparent and accountable supply chains;
  • Participating in multi-stakeholder efforts;
  • Supporting effective diplomatic action; and
  • Contributing to sustainable economic development.

The paper also highlights specific efforts and projects various industrial sectors are supporting and names the companies involved in each initiative.