A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

First – Conflict Diamonds…Next – Conflict Minerals – NYTimes.com

In News on March 20, 2012 at 10:27

Use of ‘Conflict Minerals’ Gets More Scrutiny 

The measure is aimed at cutting off the brutal militia groups that have often taken over the mining and sale of so-called conflict minerals to finance their military aims. Just about every company affected by the law says they support it, but many business groups have also been pushing aggressively to put wiggle room in the restrictions, calling for lengthy phase-in periods, exemptions for minimal use of the minerals and loose definitions of what types of uses are covered.

Nearly every consumer product that includes electronic parts uses a derivative of one of the four minerals: columbite-tantalite, which when refined is used in palm-size cellphones and giant turbines; cassiterite, an important source of the tin used in coffee cans and circuit boards; wolframite, used to produce tungsten for light bulbs and machine tools; and gold, commonly used as an electronic conductor (and, of course, jewelry).

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