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They are abundant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country that, since the late 1990s, has been experiencing civil conflict that has claimed more than 5 million lives and created a humanitarian crisis. Armed militias in the DRC and its nine neighboring countries are mining and selling these resources to help fund their activities, often resorting to violence and forced labor to obtain the minerals that produce 3TG. They have been dubbed "conflict minerals," and are under continued scrutiny as governments attempt to curb their usage and stifle the militia groups financially.
In the US, section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, known as the Conflict Minerals Act, requires publicly traded companies to disclose the origin of these minerals in their products with the Securities Exchange Commission. Any publicly traded company must provide detailed accounts of where any of the minerals in question originated and whether they are deemed essential to the functionality or production of a product. There is no de minimis, or "virtually safe," level or classification to exempt a company from reporting. Public companies will require their supply chain providers to account for these minerals to ensure their SEC reports are accurate.
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