What Are Conflict Minerals?
Conflict Minerals Are Used In Circuit Boards
You may already be familiar with the term “Conflict Diamonds” or “Blood Diamonds,” which means diamonds that people have fought over. “Conflict minerals” are the same thing – minerals which are mined from areas of the world where people are fighting over them.
Why do people fight over conflict minerals?
Warlords in violent parts of the world require funding in order to maintain their power. They get this funding by selling minerals, or the rights to mine the minerals. Minerals represent cash, and criminals always need and want cash. And they are willing to do awful things in order to keep it.
Which minerals are conflict minerals?
Who buys conflict minerals?
These minerals are being bought by processing plants which create electronics. The electronics are then sold on the consumer market to us (like MP3 players, cell phones, laptops, GPS devices, and more) or sold for industrial use (like pacemakers, airbags, oxygen sensors, and so forth).
Unfortunately the short answer is “we all do.”
How can I avoid buying products made with conflict minerals?
At this point, there are no manufacturers which are deliberately sourcing their materials from conflict-free zones. Any electronics device, anything with a circuit board or solder, contains conflict minerals. The best option is to keep the gadgets you already have! Do you really need a new cell phone? Probably not. Can you get by with that laptop for another year? Probably so.
More Information on Conflict Minerals
- RAISE Hope for Congo
- The Enough Project
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lords Resistance Army.
- Conflict minerals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- The Story of Stuff
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