Image credit: ENOUGH Project on flickr.
The Enough Project recently published their latest report on the use of so-called ‘conflict minerals’ in the electronics industry, which paints both a promising and sad picture. ‘Conflict minerals’ are minerals sourced in regions of conflict — in this case mainly the Democratic Republic of Congo — and help to fund the local militias and their ongoing wars. Some of these minerals are used in the electronics industry: cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, and wolframite are the source for tin, tantalum, and tungsten. Some electronics companies already have policies that help track the source of these minerals and prevent the use of minerals sourced in regions of conflict. However, much progress in this area is still to be desired.