George Wang in the Wall Street Journal: Conflict Minerals Rules Could Reverberate Through Supply Chain


New rules for conflict minerals have been in the works for a long time, but much of the impact on manufacturing supply chains has yet to be felt.

On the face of it, the rules, which require companies to trace the origin of specific minerals from central Africa, appears to apply to a relatively small number of companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission identified about 6,000 listed companies directly affected by its rules, which require vetting of the use of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. The idea behind the rule is that these metals are used by genocidal groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries to finance their operations.

These listed companies will have to follow a three-step process to verify and attest to these metals coming from reputable sources. But there is also a knock-on effect on suppliers to those listed companies.

“They’re going to push it down into their supply chains,” said George Wang, a partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP.

Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2012. To view full article, click here.

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