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LCM of Metals Supply to Electronics: Tracking and Tracing 'Conflict Minerals'

13 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2011 Last revised: 25 Mar 2012

Steven B. Young

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development

Goretty Dias

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development

Date Written: April 15, 2011

Abstract

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

Young, Steven B. and Dias, Goretty, LCM of Metals Supply to Electronics: Tracking and Tracing 'Conflict Minerals' (April 15, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1875976 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1875976

Steven B. Young (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada
519-888-4567 (Phone)

Goretty Dias

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

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