November 20, 2013
According to a report issued by the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), European companies that source minerals, such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, from central Africa rarely make public disclosures that they are performing their due diligence to ensure they are not using conflict minerals.
However, the report found European companies that are also listed on US stock exchanges, and are therefore subject to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, have a higher rate of public disclosure.
Only 20 out of 147 mineral-using companies with only a listing on a European stock exchange made a public statement that they had policies to avoid the use of conflict minerals, whereas nine out of 14 companies with a dual listing in both the European Union and US made such a declaration, according to the report. Potential conflict minerals are used by companies in sectors such as defense, electronics, medical equipment, and telecommunications.
The report recommended that the EU should develop a framework based on existing international standards that have a broad geographical and material scope to ensure companies in Europe are performing their due diligence on conflict minerals.