Yay For Apple Inc., Their Tantalum Suppliers Are Conflict-Free

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Minor Metals
conflict minerals compliance

Source: transatlanticacademy.org

In Apple Inc.’s latest Supplier Responsibility Report, they state that all of the company’s tantalum suppliers are conflict-free, using a third-party verification process.

Apple is also pushing their gold, tin and tungsten suppliers to use conflict-free material, according to this Times article, but those suppliers are harder for the company to muscle because Apple has less financial leverage with them.

Of course, Apple (along with HP, Nokia, Intel and others) has been at the forefront of conflict-free smelter sourcing due to their size and spots in the marketplace; but as we’ve reported over the last couple years, it’s much harder for smaller manufacturers to become compliant with the SEC’s conflict minerals law.

We thought it may behoove our readers to see the list of Apple’s suppliers and smelters – the company “identified that its suppliers use 20 global smelters or refiners whose tantalum has been verified by third-party auditors” as conflict-free, according to the Wall Street Journal – and see if you share any supplier or smelters in common.

Apple’s full list of suppliers.

Apple’s list of smelters.

If you do use any of these suppliers, and if you also source tantalum, can you be reasonably sure that these suppliers are providing conflict-free material? We encourage manufacturers to perform their own due diligence (we can help with that).

The compliance deadline for the Conflict Minerals Law is only a few months away – be ready!

Comment (1)

  1. William Quam says:

    Before we cheer too loudly you must realize that there is are simple verification utilizing XRF, that can be used to make such a blanket statement as Apple, Intel and all the rest of the manufacturers make about “conflict minerals” but no one is interested in this process.

    The UN Group of Experts recently reported the iTSCi “bag and tag” certification process has been compromised so that NO 3TG minerals can be certified. The report can be found here http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2014/42

    To quote from the report: “While initiatives by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region have advanced the validation of mining sites and improved adherence to conflict-free and child labour-free international standards, armed groups and FARDC continue to
    control many mining sites and to profit from mining and the minerals trade. During 2013, minerals — particularly tin, tungsten and tantalum — continued to be smuggled from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo through neighbouring countries, undermining the credibility and progress of international certification and traceability mechanisms.”

    Mere statements and non-verifiable paper audits covering business practices in one of the most corrupted regions of the world are not enough for anyone to proclaim they have NO “conflict minerals” in their products. It is nothing more than a public relations exercise.

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