Top six questions directors should ask about conflict minerals

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Conflict minerals can be found in thousands of products produced in nearly every industry. In the US alone, it’s estimated that the rule could affect close to 6,000 companies — and have an indirect impact on at least 275,000 others — regardless of size or extent of mineral use.

For the Canadian market, this conservative estimate includes up to 600 companies directly, and 30,000 companies indirectly. So what are conflict minerals? They’re tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (referred to as 3TG) mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its adjoining countries (covered countries1).

In order to address this issue, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has outlined new disclosure requirements for their registrants that use these minerals. Have your board and management considered and addressed the risks related to conflict mineral reporting? The attached includes the questions you should be asking now in order to be prepared for this new rule.

1Africa Republic, South Sudan, Zambia, Angola, The Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda.