Washington, DC — The deadline closed yesterday for publicly traded companies in the United States to file their fourth annual Conflict Minerals Reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Enough Project looks forward to reviewing the reports and analyzing the progress companies have made in the last year, as well as marking any gaps in compliance.
Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “Transparency at this level, across industries, signals progress for corporate accountability. These reports make clear what companies are doing — or not doing — to find out where their minerals originate and whether profits from their sales support armed group violence. Because of the rule, that information is accessible. The due diligence information in the filings gives consumers, investors, and the public at large insight into how companies address risk in their supply chains. The rule also ensures companies are held to a common standard when it comes to acknowledging those risks.”
Enough will be incorporating information from the 2017 filings into its next round of conflict minerals company rankings, which will be released later this year.
Annie Callaway, Advocacy Manager at the Enough Project, said: “For years, the Enough Project has engaged companies on opportunities for supporting a peaceful minerals trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Several leading companies such as KEMET Corporation have spoken out in support of the conflict minerals reporting requirement as their consumers and investors have consistently demanded more transparent supply chains. We look forward to using the latest round of filings as a further catalyst for the positive momentum that has been generated by both corporate and consumer activism over the last four years.”
The SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule, which implements Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, requires companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to report annually on their supply chains. Specifically, the Rule requires companies to report on the steps they take to determine the presence of four minerals – tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold – in their supply chain, and whether those minerals may have funded conflict. If it is found that any of these minerals may have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo or one of its adjoining countries, companies must then demonstrate that they have conducted additional due diligence to determine the source of their minerals.
Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The Dodd-Frank law on conflict minerals is having a concrete impact in helping get guns out of mines in eastern Congo. Seventy-nine percent of miners in tin, tantalum, and tungsten mines surveyed now do not work under the threat of armed groups, 379 mines in Congo have been certified as conflict-free, and 76 percent of the world’s conflict mineral smelters have passed independent third-party audits, meaning the market for untraceable minerals is drastically shrinking. This shift is due in large part to companies placing increased scrutiny on their suppliers as a result of Dodd-Frank 1502 and efforts by leading companies such as Apple and Intel.”
The Enough Project and several other NGOs have tracked companies’ reports since the first filings were due in 2014.
More resources and facts for reporters – “Enough Project Comment to the SEC in Support of Conflict Minerals Rule Implementation”: https://www.sec.gov/comments/s
ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project supports peace and an end to mass atrocities in Africa’s deadliest conflict zones. Together with its investigative initiative The Sentry, Enough counters armed groups, violent kleptocratic regimes, and their commercial partners that are sustained and enriched by corruption, criminal activity, and the trafficking of natural resources. By helping to create consequences for the major perpetrators and facilitators of atrocities and corruption, Enough seeks to build leverage in support of peace and good governance. Enough conducts research in conflict zones, engages governments and the private sector on potential policy solutions, and mobilizes public campaigns focused on peace, human rights, and breaking the links between war and illicit profit. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.