DR Congo: Conflict and minerals extraction sites (as of 04 Jun 2014)
Monday 2 June 2014 marked the deadline for US-listed companies that use tin, tungsten, tantalum or gold sourced from DR Congo and adjoining countries in their manufacturing processes to submit inaugural reports to US authorities detailing how they are monitoring their supply chains to safeguard against ‘conflict minerals’ (i.e. minerals which fund the activities of armed groups). These ‘due diligence’ assessments are to be scrutinised by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance with Section 1502 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. This now well-publicised clause of the act is known as the ‘conflict minerals provision’.
The four minerals covered within the Dodd-Frank Act (known as the ‘3TG) are widely acknowledged as being significant in prolonging and intensifying two periods of war in DR Congo that left up to five million people dead and many more displaced. The same raw commodities have also exacerbated instability in the country’s eastern Kivu provinces. A range of armed groups, including rebel movements and rogue elements of the Congolese, Rwandan and Ugandan armies, continue to engage in a power struggle over control of the region’s wealth of minerals. While most of DR Congo remains essentially lawless, the eastern Kivu provinces have been particularly characterised by conflict, extreme violence and grave human rights abuses.