conflict mineralsRES

Intel has recently vowed to stop using conflict minerals, it has emerged.

The multinational electronics company is responsible for producing computing chips and other technological devices, which often make use of conflict minerals such as coltan in order for them to work properly.

However, they have now claimed that they will no longer include precious metals mined in regions controlled by African warlords.

Tech giant Apple has also vowed to stop using conflict minerals.

The announcement was made after US regulators prepared to implement new rules requiring about 6,000 manufacturers to disclose information about their use of minerals such as gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten.

These minerals are used in devices such as laptops, phones and iPads.

The minerals often come from countries such as the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries, where many mines are operated by militia and rebel groups, sometimes with the collusion of corrupt government officials.

The money that is generated from these mines helps to finance the continuing wars in the region, which has been marked by widespread rape, violence and murder.

This has led to increasing pressure from consumers to hold Western corporations to account and it has also resulted in calls for greater transparency over where the minerals come from and how they are extracted.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, includes a measure – due to be implemented this spring – requiring firms that make US regulatory filings to disclose, but not halt, their use of conflict minerals.

The law is being disputed by business groups with vested interests such as the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers. They claim that the law breaches their constitutional rights – although they made no mention of the rights of people in developing countries who are forced to suffer the fallout of the conflict that these corporations help to finance and create.

It is also important to note that Intel is a member of all three trade associations.

Annie Dunnebacke, deputy campaigns director of international human rights and environmental NGO Global Witness has cautiously welcomed the commitment by Intel to stop their use of conflict minerals.

She told Positive News: “The problem that we have is that Intel appears to be very progressive on the one hand and are being very public about that, but they have not publicly distanced themselves from the lawsuit … The fact that they haven’t casts a shadow over this announcement. This is an opportunity for them to make an even bigger difference.”


Now when it comes to publishing inspirational stories, we try to select the ones in which ordinary individuals have helped to empower themselves or others and change the world for the better.

This story about Intel giving up conflict minerals is a little bit of a strange one, because not only does it involve an international company, it is one where although they have made a positive step, there is still a question mark over how their policies will pan out in practice.

However we have decided to flag this up as an inspirational piece, simply because if nothing else, it highlights the powerful influence that public pressure can exert over a very wealthy, multinational corporation.

Akashic Times is the UK’s only online, fully independent not-for-profit fortnightly newspaper that brings you real news from across the globe.

If you want to keep ahead of what is really going on in the world, subscribe to our newspaper via the subscribe button and join our Facebook & Twitter pages. Subscription is completely free ofcourse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(Spamcheck Enabled)