A report issued by the organization Enough Project indicates market changes spurred by the Dodd-Frank Act’s provisions on conflict minerals have helped to significantly reduce the involvement of armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in the mines of three out of the four conflict minerals.
The Enough Project conducted five months of field research in eastern Congo, interviewing 220 people in 14 mines and towns, in addition to 32 interviews in the U.S. and Europe. The research revealed the following findings and others:
- Armed groups and the Congolese army are no longer present at two-thirds (67 percent) of tin, tantalum, and tungsten mines surveyed
- The Dodd-Frank law and electronics industry audits have created a two-tier market for tin, tantalum, and tungsten (3Ts) from Congo and the region. Minerals that do not go through conflict-free programs now sell for 30 to 60 percent less thus reducing profits for armed groups trying to sell them
- Bisie, one of the world’s largest tin mines which generated hundreds of millions of dollars for a number of armed groups and criminal units of the army, is now largely demilitarized
- Urgent reforms are needed for conflict gold, as gold continues to finance armed groups and Congolese army commanders
- Electronics companies are expanding minerals sourcing from Congo, which is improving conditions for miners and communities near the mines. Twenty-one electronics and other companies now source from 16 conflict-free mines in Congo