LCM of Metals Supply to Electronics: Tracking and Tracing 'Conflict Minerals'
13 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2011 Last revised: 25 Mar 2012
Date Written: April 15, 2011
The effectiveness of life cycle management (LCM) of metals supply to electronics is examined, with focus on understanding challenges to implementation of the US regulation on so-called, "conflict minerals," which are of concern for financing warfare and human rights violations in the DRC. By analyzing a study that attempted to track (down the supply-chain) and trace (up the supply chain) cobalt, tantalum and tin, and using the concept of material stewardship, it is suggested that physical aspects of the metal supply chain, such as the mixing of sources and transformation of minerals to metals, create the biggest challenges to LCM of these, "conflict minerals." Thus, the proposed US regulation, which requires documented chain-of-custody, is flawed. Industry initiatives on LCM of these metals supply to electronics address some of the physical challenges and confront management challenges, but are incomplete.
Keywords: conflict minerals, electronics, metals, supply chain, DRC, SEC, Dodd-Frank, CSR
JEL Classification: M14, Q30, D62, D74, K22, L72, N50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation