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Harry Cassin
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Apple to name suppliers using conflict minerals

Image courtesy of AppleApple will begin publishing names of suppliers every quarter showing whether they have verified the source of the minerals they use.

The company said in its latest Supplier Responsibility Progress Report released Thursday it will also publish names of suppliers and audit results covering compliance with labour standards and environmental use and impact.

Apple said it verified that as of January, all suppliers using tantalum are sourcing it in conflict-free zones.

The SEC in 2012 enacted a 356-page conflict mineral rule requiring public companies to disclose their use of tantalum, tin, gold, or tungsten mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or a contiguous country.

Apple said it uses much less tin, gold, and tungsten but is committed to sourcing them ethically.

Countries of origin included in the SEC’s conflict mineral rule because they border the Democratic Republic of the Congo are: Angola (and its discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Tantalum is used to make capacitors and resistors.

The suppliers list Apple published Thursday showed 59 tantalum smelters as compliant with conflict-free sourcing.

“Our Supplier Code of Conduct was already one of the toughest in the electronics industry,” Apple said in the report, “and we made it even stronger.”

The company said it enforced the Code of Conduct during the past year through 451 audits “at multiple levels of [its] supply chain.”

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility 2014 Progress Report is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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