Design Con 2015

Conflict Metals Law: Good Intentions Gone Bad?

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mfbertozzi
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Supply Network Guru
Raw Materials - REEs
mfbertozzi   5/24/2011 3:41:48 PM
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It is interesting to link current info to general picture in the matter of raw materials / REEs elements: according to recent studies from World Economic Forum, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the future will be completely dominated by countries which as of today are leading the ownership of  raw materials resources including REEs (China, Russia, Brasil, India). The rest of resources are exactly in countries with limited stability in terms of political situation. Another analysis very interesting is above mentioned countries, leader in raw/REEs are leading also, since now, Internet penetration rate. Is a random picture or we are discussing about hide strategy (power and resources limited to a few leaders, the rest still owned by Govs with internal social conflits?)

Dfpersico
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Stock Keeper
Put Africa Back to Work
Dfpersico   5/25/2011 1:09:14 PM
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When one filters through all the issues the social component rises to the top as the most critical. The pst activity centered around the Kivus (eastern DRC conflict region) has put a bad light on all the other legitimate activities well away from this region. Information is power and it seems that the good story has been suppressed because it is not sensational and therefore not newsworthy. This is not meant to minimize the atrocities of the past and the need to put a permanent solution in place, and quickly. However, when livelihoods of the many are impacted by the actions of the few, and the systems are developed to manage these few ( unfortunately necessary) we need to make certain we do not take our eye off the ball.

Gerry Fay
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Blogger
Thanks for continuing the conversation!
Gerry Fay   5/25/2011 3:11:57 PM
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Bolaji,

Thank you for furthing the conversation I started on this important and challenging topic.

For those of you that are interested in learning more about the topic and some of the actions being taken by companies and industry groups, I think this report would be of interest. I found it to be quite informative:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/45270560/Getting-to-Conflict-Free-Assessing-Corporate-Action-on-Conflict-Minerals

There are no easy answers but like I addressed in my blog, those companies who work to address it early will be in the best position to influence positive change while minimizing impacts to innocent parties.

Regards,
Gerry

Dave Sasson
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Raw Materials - REEs
Dave Sasson   5/26/2011 7:02:14 AM
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Rare-earth minerals are actually not that rare at all as they are found in abundance in the earth’s crust.  However, mining for rare-earth minerals can be environmentally hazardous because they produce radioactive waste.  To mine rare-earth minerals in North America (US and Canada) would require companies to obtain many permits and to put in place costly mitigation efforts.  Mining operations in China are not monitored to the extent that North American mines would have to be.  This would apply to African miners as well in terms of no proper oversight.  Besides rare-earth mining profits in Africa going to rebel groups, there are many other concerns as well, like the side effects of the miners from being constantly around unmonitored radioactive waste resulting from rare-earth mining.  


Jay_Bond
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Supply Network Guru
re:
Jay_Bond   5/26/2011 7:13:07 AM
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This is a very interesting article that brings some serious problems to light. Many people don't realize that these conflict mines produce more than just diamonds. There are some serious concerns about what would happen to the legitimate mines if a wide scale boycott was to begin. Like almost all other illegal businesses, the rebels operating the conflict mines would still find some other way to supply them with millions of dollars used in their bloody wars.

The packaging and tracking of these minerals from destination to destination sounds like a good way to start getting this problem taken care of. Hopefully there will be enough cooperation and little to none corruption that will allow this new program to work.

 

mfbertozzi
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Raw Materials - REEs
mfbertozzi   5/26/2011 7:37:10 AM
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I trust you Dave, critical point is the ownership of materials, still concentraced in a few Govs. One point more: also in a recent past, Western Govs did strong action for saving freedom, I was wondering why not inside the core of Africa region which still lives with huge problems for people there at first and thenfor worldwide market as resumed by Bolaji's editorial.

Kevin
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Stock Keeper
Where is the reason?
Kevin   5/26/2011 4:55:45 PM
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Our corporate environmentalism is literally killing people.

We reduce auto emissions by adding corn to our fuel, now the millions that once ate that corn at discounted prices or for free are going hungry.

Reuse is the first tenant of environmentalism yet the company I work for recycles used computers only four or five years old. They send them to a US recycler that strictly follows our environmental laws so they don't go to one of those "bad" places where children get to eat because they have a computer to recycle.

Now we are going to starve-out the employees of any legitimate mining operation that is in the "wrong" place in the world.

Why can we not look for ways of improving these situations without literally sacrificing the lives of the poorest and most disenfranchised?

 

stochastic excursion
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Stock Keeper
Re: Raw Materials - REEs
stochastic excursion   5/27/2011 11:30:33 AM
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This suggests that the source of such minerals can be identified by isotope analysis.  This or some similar approach would circumvent the need to take the word of a local middle-man on the source of his wares.

GK
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Stock Keeper
Congo's war has been deadly
GK   6/2/2011 1:30:08 PM
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It's important to ensure that the Dodd Frank bill doesn't hurt artisanal miners outside of the conflict zones. However, the bill holds a lot of promise, both for cutting off funding for Congo's civil war and for encouraging accountable supply chains. Industry groups facing high compliance costs shouldn't be allowed to overstate the possible unintended consequences. Let's remember that Congo's civil war has been devastating for the people of Congo. More than 5 million people have lost their lives. The SEC ought to focus carefully on making the bill work as intended. - GK, Brilliant Earth, www.brilliantearth.com




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