Conflict Minerals Resolution for Supply Chain?

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Sparky the Wonder Cat
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"The problems technology creates ..."
Sparky the Wonder Cat   3/4/2013 12:44:20 PM
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re: The problems technology creates ...

I don't agree that technology created the problems we associate with Conflict Minerals. It is the hand that wields technology that creates problems.

Likely I am weary of the manifold ways technology has been demonized as the creator of human problems.

Otherwise I like this piece. It demonstrates that, in better hands, technology can be used to solve problems.

William K.
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Production Synthesizer
New supply of rare metals???
William K.   3/1/2013 8:38:02 PM
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The new process is described as using ore containing oxides of the desired metals, and producing pure metal powders. Now the only challenge that I can see is finding the ore containing the oxides of those metals. Which I am sure that the present process for producing the rare metals starts with ore containing oxides of those metals. So how does this new process improve anything? To produce titanium metal you still need to start with the ore, which I am not aware of any new discovery of a way to recover it from seawater. Of course, finding a way to recover titanium metal from seawater would be a huge game-changer indeed.

Anna young
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Re: Great discovery!
Anna young   2/28/2013 6:57:45 PM
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 Precisely Hash.era, the essence of this reportedly efficient and cost effective innovative technology breakthrough by metalysis is probably to weaken China's supply condition in titanium. Let's wait and see what impact it will have on the Supply of titanium once the technology is made widely available.

R.J.Matthews
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Re: Great discovery!
R.J.Matthews   2/28/2013 6:50:56 PM
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Every bit helps i but it would take some advanced alchemy to deal with the other conflict minerals in the DRC as well (gold tin and tungsten).

The good news is having a spotlight on the DRC has helped mobilise politicians and others to try to solve some of the problems so cutting short the recent conflict there.

So the companies that have been proactive in tackling and talking about the issues have contributed to saving lives.

Till root causes are dealt with through things could deteriorate again.


 

Bolaji Ojo
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Re: Great discovery!
Bolaji Ojo   2/28/2013 5:50:17 PM

R.J. Matthews, I happen to agree there's no magic bullet to the conflict minerals problem but this doesn't mean this particular approach won't work. It won't solve the problem associated with how the minerals are mined but it may offer companies a different procurement source that can possibly help reduce its intensity. Maybe.

FreeBird
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Resolution
FreeBird   2/28/2013 12:20:49 PM
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This technology addresses one of the fundamental rules of supply and demand: when supply is adequate, products lose their value. The best way to combat practices such as conflict mineral mining is to make it less profitable for those that exploit the supply. I hope the technology/technique advances.

R.J.Matthews
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Re: Great discovery!
R.J.Matthews   2/28/2013 11:54:37 AM
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Doubt it Bolaji Ojo

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21571847-exotic-useful-metals-such-tantalum-and-titanium-are-about-become-cheap

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/02/15/what-on-earth-is-the-economist-talking-about-here/?ss=strategies-solutions

"Tim Worstall is a blogger, freelance journo and Fellow at the Adam Smtih Institute. His day job is the wholesale supply of various exotic metals."

I am on the opposite side to Tim Worstall (who seems critical of most attempts to clean up the conflict mineral trade) but if this was an answer think he would flag it up as one and use it as another argument for not regulating the trade.

Need companies to stop sitting on the fence and come out against the legal challenges being done in their name,rather than hoping for some magic bullet.

Most progress recently is the push on the ground in the DRC to control the trade and some companies cleaning up their act.

http://www.enoughproject.org/blogs/sourcing-conflict-free-minerals-kivus-no-longer-pipe-dream-monitoring-must-follow

http://www.enoughproject.org/blogs/apple-new-pledges-conflict-minerals-clean-congo

Though efforts have been slowed down by renewed conflict partially funded by the conflict mineral trade and regional actors who profit from it.

http://www.enoughproject.org/blogs/cnn-op-ed-hope-end-worlds-deadliest-war

Going to be slow painful progress though till all the tech and other industries are pulling in the same direction.

 

 

hash.era
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Re: Great discovery!
hash.era   2/28/2013 9:01:18 AM
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"This might probably end China's market supply domination of rare earth minerals and its unnecessary hike prices"

@ Anna: Exactly and that is what is required. We do not want a monopoly market rule. We need a competition which favors both supplier and buyer. 


Anna young
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Great discovery!
Anna young   2/28/2013 7:24:16 AM
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"The process has numerous economical and environmental advantages over its rivals".

Bolaji, great article as usual. It is about time a new process and extraction methodology of Titanium is made available. This might probably end China's market supply domination of rare earth minerals and its unnecessary hike prices.



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