September 27, 2013 – October 4, 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.

Materion Microelectronics & Services Announces that its Buffalo, NY Facility is “Conflict-Free”

Materion Microelectronics & Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Materion Corporation (NYSE), announced this week that its Buffalo, New York facility has been certified as a “conflict-free” gold refiner in accordance with the EICC-GeSI Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Program.

To become “conflict-free” in accordance with the CFS Program, according to its frequently asked questions page, an independent third-party must review the refiner’s activities and determine if the refiner demonstrated that all of its processed materials originated from ”conflict-free” sources. 

Materion’s certification is valid until February 6, 2014.

Professional Athlete Speaks Out Against Use of Conflict Minerals

On his weekly ESPN Radio show, NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers expressed his support for Raise Hope for Congo, an Enough Project campaign that strives toward ending the conflict in the Congo.

Rogers stated, “We’re trying to raise awareness for some of the atrocities that are going on on the other side of the world. Many people saw the movie ‘Blood Diamond,’ which brought some attention and awareness to the ‘conflict diamonds’ that were being used to fuel the war machine over in Africa and to a similar degree, with Raise Hope for Congo, we’re trying to raise awareness about the minerals that are being used in the smartphones that we love to have on our side all the time. Many of those minerals are conflict minerals that are being used to fuel the war machine over in Congo and some of these groups who are doing some really awful things over there…So, we’re trying to raise awareness and have campuses across the country raise up together with one voice and say, enough; enough is enough. We’re going to force these companies to only buy conflict-free minerals.”

To read more, please see the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel’s article, Aaron Rodgers Takes a Stand on Congo “Conflict Minerals.”

CFO Magazine Op-Ed: Execs Should Fight SEC “Conflict Minerals” Rule

Brinkley Dickerson, a partner with the law firm Troutman Sanders LLP, recently wrote an opinion editorial in CFO magazine discussing his petition to the SEC to provide companies at least an additional year to comply with the conflict minerals rule and urging companies in the future to comment on SEC proposed rules instead of relying on various trade associations. By directly commenting on proposed SEC rules, Mr. Dickerson reasonably believes that the SEC will give companies a “fair shake” and “implement [future] rules in the least problematic way.” Mr. Dickerson acknowledges the low success rates of  SEC petitions, but differentiates his petition from others because typically SEC petitions are filed by interest groups or trade associations with an “axe to grind.”