November 22, 2013 – November 29, 2013

The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Sanders (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.

Pittsburgh Business Times: Conflict Minerals Reporting Creates Challenges for Manufacturers

Justine Coyne, a reporter for the Pittsburgh Business Times, summarizes the conflict minerals rule and interviews a senior manager of a western Pennsylvania supplier management resources firm in her latest article, Conflict Minerals Reporting Creates Challenges for Manufacturers.

In discussing the challenges manufacturers are facing in complying with the conflict minerals rule, Michael Cross, senior manager at Directworks, analogizes complying with the rule to a crime show, “manufacturers [are] trying to track down the chain of custody.” Further, Mr. Cross stresses the importance of companies being proactive in their compliance measures, “This year…a company could face some trouble if it is unable to show it has done its due diligence and made every effort to get answers.”

US State Department: Price for Certified Conflict-Free Tin Doubles

Martin Creamer of MiningWeekly.com reports that “tin-mining companies that certify their ore against conflict are receiving prices double those of non-certified participants.” Peter Harrell, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State elaborated, “miners participating in the scheme are earning $4/kg for tin ore compared to $2/kg for noncertified tin ore.” The main reason behind the price increase is the cost of tracing the tin from the mine to the smelter. Diana Putman, USAID DRC mission director, estimated that “bagging and tagging” costs anywhere between $300/t to $500/t.

To read Mr. Creamer’s entire article, please see Tin Miners Getting Twice Price for Certified DRC Ore.

EE Times: Semiconductor Industry Well Positioned for Conflict Minerals Reporting

Jessica Lipsky of the EE Times reports, in her article Semi Industry Well Positioned for Conflict Mineral Reporting, that the semiconductor industry is well positioned for the detailed measures needed to be taken to comply with the conflict minerals rule. In her article, she highlights a quote from Ron Jones, CEO of N-Able Group International, “We have a semi-fixed set of resources that produce die and a semi-fixed set of resources that do packaging. The same is true for assembly operations (captive or OSAT). This means that virtually all ICs are manufactured by a known set of factories. This is far different than products, like computers or airplanes, that have many levels in their bill of material and whose supply chain includes myriad manufacturers or fabricators around the world.”