Thanks to enough media attention, and a Hollywood movie, most people know about conflict diamonds and other precious stones.
According to a new bill signed by Obama, U.S. electronics companies will be required to trace and know the origins of the materials used to make their products. Minerals such as gold, tungsten, tantalum and tin are mined and sold to fund war in Central Africa.
This poses a new layer of diligence on the likes of computer and gadget manufacturers. Fast Company reports that Intel and Apple have recently joined Conflict-Free Smelter program ahead of the legislation, perhaps to avoid any unwanted attention and it's the right thing to do.
Now miners in the conflict regions need to find new buyers for their materials. With large American companies now backing off, selling efforts may go to Asia instead, reports Bloomberg.
“There is a de-facto embargo, it’s very clear,” said John Kanyoni, president of the mineral exporters association of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We’re committed to continue with all these programs. But at the same time we’re traveling soon to Asia to find alternatives.”