November 28, 2014 – December 5, 2014

The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP and should not be deemed to be endorsements of them. The Recap is intended to be a compilation of articles and events to encourage discussion within the conflict minerals community and to keep our readers updated on the most recent developments.

Washington Post Reports on the Unintended Consequences of the Conflict Minerals Rule, Many Miners Left Jobless

Sudarsan Raghavan of the Washington Post illustrates the unintended consequences of the conflict minerals rule in an article titled How a Well-Intentioned U.S. Law Left Congolese Miners Jobless.

Raghavan writes, “In 2010, before the law passed, miners were selling a kilogram of tin — about two pounds — for $7. The world market price averaged $18 a kilo. Now, the miners get only $4 for a kilo of tin — even though the global market price this year has averaged $22 per kilo.” The drop in price, Raghavan writes, is due to the fact that companies have avoided purchasing minerals from the area. The consequences of this are seen through a story of boy who left school to join the militia once his father, a miner, could no longer afford to pay for school.

Supporters of the conflict minerals rule argue that the rule has required corporations to implement measures to conduct due diligence on their supply chains, but that perhaps the rule should have included some financial aid mechanism to deal with the effects of the unintended consequences.

The article reports that aid programs are now being established to mitigate the effects of the unintended consequences.

Engineering Association Says EU Proposed Conflict Minerals Regulation Ambiguous

According to Chemical Watch, the European Engineering Industries Association has commented on the EU conflict minerals proposed regulation in advance of the EU hearings to be held at the end of this year and the beginning of next year.

Chemical Watch writes, “The industry group wants the Commission to clearly identify the regions, countries and minerals covered by the proposal, including a clear list of countries targeted by it.”

The geographic scope of the current draft of the proposed conflict minerals regulation is not specific, but focuses on “conflict-affected and high-risk” areas.

First European Parliamentary Hearing on Conflict Minerals Held on December 4, 2014

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, members of the Committee on International Trade discussed the proposed regulation on conflict minerals with several speakers.