@stochastic, I agree completely. Intel should possibly say what minerals they are using and citing as not coming from a conflict area or nation. Bolaji's point about regions inside countries classified differently is a new one on me. Overland smuggling by roving armies is definitely a liklihood, especially in Africa now.
@R.J., like Paul is going to find the perfect 10 woman on the Internet who is just dying to marry a stodgy old professor. Like she had no other options. Either Paul has extroidinarily high self-esteem, or he is living in la la land. Thanks for the links.
Douglas one reason we need new rules is things have been too loose and manufacturing execs have not known enough about where their product is coming from.
Taking your example about luggage. The rules and safeguards over luggage are there for areason to cutdown on terrorism and drug smuggling, yes there are inconvenient but the world would be a lot more of a dangerous place without them.
Same with conflict minerals balancing the inconvenience of the few against the well being of the many. It is also a lot easier nowadays to track things and it would be hard to slip twenty tons of dodgy ore into your manbag!
There is opportunity for cynicism at all levels and each phase of the refinement process, when seeing judgment passed on people who participate in sourcing these vital materials. The only remark I'd make is that Intel is not known for board-level components, which is where the bulk of tantalum components are mounted. For this reason their inclusion in the Enough top five seems not very meaningful.
@Bolaji, I have talked to manufacturing execs and asked if they could absolutely guarantee that the materials they are using are conflict free. The most positive response I received is that they would not sign any paper that guaranteed conflict mineral free product. The most realistic response I received is that they would be willing to sign a document that stated " to the best of our knowledge we are conflict mineral free." I know when I travel abroad, I am always asked that if at any time was my hand carry luggage out of my sight? I say no because if I take my eyes off of my laptop bag to look at my phone, the luggage has been out of my sight, but if I say yes, then I and my luggage are pulled aside and I have just added a layer of inconvenience to my trip. How much more difficult and invisible to the end user is the supply chain movement? Your article was spot on. Who can claim their luggage was never out of their sight? If a pickpocket can go into your jacket and remove your wallet without you knowing it, then a terrorist drop a weapon or explosive in the outside pocket of your carry-on just as easily.
What you say is true but whole article is not a fair reflection of the current situation Nemus but a opinion piece which suggestingNgo's and others are totally clueless about the situation.
What has resulted is the farce of the enough project and other well intended but misguided efforts to either help the people of the congo curb their decades-long civil war or keep western companies' supply chains and consumer electronic products scrupulously clean of blood-tainted components.
That is simply not true Enough is for example well aware of the problems and the loopholes that still need closing.
Despite this progress, gold smuggling remains a major problem and the new rwandan backed m23 rebel group is creating instability. But tech company action has been at the center of the long-term progress in creating solutions within mineral supplychains, as the electronics audit program only accepts minerals that are fully traced back to their mines of origin and are conflict-free, i.e.excluding conflict minerals.
While companies engaged in finding solutions should be recognized for their efforts, there are still significant gaps where improvement in conflict mineral policies can be made.
Then lists the areas's where further progress needs to be made including area's outside the large consumer electronics industry—jewelry, automakers, aerospace, and industrial machinery
Which Dodd frank will help with.
The electronic area is not just being picked on, the Ngo's know there are other areas that need addressing and also have gone out of their way to praise the"pioneers of progress".
Pity the article did not add to the progress being made by highlighting how important it is to have clean supply chains and maybe a few constructive suggestions on how to achieve this in the Drc.
Really disappointing to see yet another article on EBN knocking the efforts to clean up the supply chain inconflict minerals from the Drc.
How about one focusing on what is being achieved for a change, by the ngo's others and the supply chain professionals helping them?
perfect, clean ,and 100 percent legally mined mineral materials from the democratic republic of congo? That will be the day.
Well thats what the solutions for hope project is not far off from.
The solutions for hope project's unique approach to mineral sourcing in the region utilizes a closed-pipe supply line http://solutions-network.org/site-solutionsforhope/
..these steps have had an effect on the on going conflict in congo,as armed groups are currently only able to generate approximately 35 percent of what they made from the trade in tin,tantalum,andtungsten,or3ts,two years ago...
No one expects the whole mess to be cleaned up instantly and articles like this one do not bring that situation any nearer but a lot of people are trying to change things for the better and gradually succeeding.
The folk on the ground including the miners broadly welcome the new rules and who can blame them.
Its a misconception that Chinese firms will be able to dodge laws forever as they Supply to American companies a couple of chinese firms involved in the tin trade have already beenjumpedon.
Just because some thing is hard to do does not meanit is not worth doing and the push for Dodd Frank has already meant improvements.
This article is in especially poor taste now when you have them23 rebels in the Drc raising hell partly funded by their illicit mineral revenue and backed by Rwanda who have also profited from the Drc conflict mineral trade.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.