What is conflict mineral?
Conflict minerals refer specifically to tungsten, tin, tantalum, and gold. Four minerals used in all electronic devices from aeronautics to cell phones. A large supply of these minerals is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – home to the worst human atrocity to take place since WWII. The last 15 years in DRC have witnessed 6 million dead, hundreds of thousands of women raped, and millions more displaced.
How are the minerals in my mobile phone/laptop/MP3 player connected to this horrible situation?
DRC has been called a geological scandal – in that it is so abundant in natural resources including diamonds, uranium, natural gas, oil, rare woods, and conflict minerals. Because these resources are so valuable, rebel groups and corrupt military leaders use abhorrent tactics such as slavery, rape, murder, and robbery to control them. They then profit millions of dollars by selling these minerals into the international market – where they eventually wind up in our electronic devices.