Investors Applaud Court Decision on Conflict Mineral Reporting
This week, the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request from trade groups to temporarily suspend the SEC conflict minerals rule. Investors welcomed the decision, which leaves in place the requirement that companies complete their conflict minerals due diligence disclosure filings by the June 2nd deadline. All reporting expectations remain unchanged with the exception of the use of “DRC conflict-free” terminology.
This decision to uphold near-full implementation of the rule is very important to sustainable and responsible investors, who are relying on the conflict minerals due diligence disclosures for brand valuation, risk assessment, and investment decisions. Investors released a public statement today detailing the importance of 1502 implementation and their continued support of the rule.
The ruling acknowledges and supports companies’ ability and willingness to comply with the rule. Early reports are already completed and have been submitted to the SEC.
The SEC promptly came out with a statement clearly explaining the adapted filing requirements per the Appeals Court ruling in April against use of the compelled “DRC conflict-free” speech. Despite this statement, trade groups still argued that the entire rule had been called into question and needed revision. Fortunately, the court did not agree with this faulty argument and the rule remains in effect. Companies should continue preparing and submitting their filings in line with the SEC requirements.
As the June 2nd deadline approaches, investors commend the conflict minerals supply chain due diligence that companies have undertaken and look forward to reviewing the filings. The first set of reports will provide a baseline level of information from which companies will be expected to expand and deepen as their due diligence efforts become part of their daily business activities. This court decision offers even more legitimacy to the mandate of the rule to promote responsible and transparent sourcing practices in the conflict minerals supply chain. With this decision, work can continue to progress toward bringing peace and prosperity to the citizens of the DR Congo and Great Lakes Region through a reformed minerals trade.