Tech firms trying to not use conflict minerals

John Moe Apr 27, 2011

Intel and Hewlett-Packard Co. are a couple of the big tech companies that are looking for ways to make their products without using a substance called tantalum, which is in lots of smartphones, tablets and other devices. This move comes after Congress passed a law last year that makes companies use minerals that aren’t from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congo is the world’s third-largest producer of tantalum and it’s thought the mines there are to blame for much of the violence in that country. The law also covers tin, tungsten and gold.

From the Journal:

The law will affect all technology companies publicly traded in the U.S. Oregon-based TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. is working with its suppliers to help them track the four affected minerals they use. Dell Inc. says it, too, is working with suppliers as they adjust purchasing processes. Microsoft Corp. is also among those scrambling to comply with the new legislation.
“The purpose is to cut off funding to people who kill people,” says Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), an author of the act. Conflict in eastern Congo is blamed for at least five million deaths since the late 1990s.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.