Intel Files First Audited Conflict Minerals Report – Wall Street Journal (blog)
By DON CLARK
Some tech companies seem to be struggling with new reporting requirements about whether their products contain “conflict minerals” from mines blamed for fueling violence in war-torn regions of Africa. Not Intel.
The Silicon Valley chip giant, which has already declared that its microprocessors are now conflict-free, on Thursday bolstered that claim in a lengthy report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Intel is the first company to submit an audited report, among just a handful to file reports ahead of a June 2 deadline.
Ernst & Young, which audits Intel’s financial reports, examined the company’s procedures for conducting due diligence about its supply chain. The firm did not express an opinion about whether Intel’s chips are conflict-free.
The reporting requirements, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, relate to products that use tin, gold, tantalum and tungsten. They stem from an effort to cut off money flowing to violent militia groups in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo, groups that in some cases order mining of such materials at gunpoint.
Brian Krzanich, named Intel’s chief executive a year ago, has made attaining conflict-free status a highly visible corporate priority. It recently released a video to drive awareness about the problem, directed by the prominent documentary maker Paul Freedman.
Figuring out where materials used in manufacturing chips or other products is not easy, involving complex relationships between mines, middlemen and smelters. Intel’s report says it has visited more than 85 smelters and refiners in 21 countries since 2009.
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