August 10, 2015

Despite Spending More Than $700 Million, U.S. Businesses Still Can’t Trace Source Of Conflict Minerals

According to a study by researchers Tulane University and Assent Compliance, in 2014 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals regulation cost U.S. businesses $709 million and six million staff hours to comply with. Despite that enormous outlay, most companies that filed reports with the SEC could not verify the minerals they used were conflict free. 

Bloomberg reported last week that “more than 80 percent of the 1,262 companies that filed compliance reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year said they couldn’t identify whether their products contain conflict-free minerals.” Additionally, “Another 9 percent used language that didn’t specify if their supply chains contained such metals, according to the report.” 

As Connecting the Dots reported last week, the SEC’s regulation also has not fulfilled its intended mandate, which was to reduce violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.