Bloomberg reports that new rules have gone into effect which prohibit electronics makers from buying minerals that help fund wars in Central Africa. The Conflict-Free Smelter program specifically bars electronics makers like Apple and Intel from buying tungsten, tin ore, gold and coltan from Congo and neighboring countries unless mineral processors can prove purchases don’t contribute to conflict in eastern Congo.
The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition in Washington, D.C. and the Brussels-based Global E-Sustainability Initiative developed the regulations in conjunction with Apple, Intel and others in hopes to bring more ethical responsibility to the mining of materials used in everyday products like the iPhone and motherboards. However, while the new regulations take effect in America and Europe many Congo mines will seek out new buyers in Asia. “We’re committed to continue with all these programs,” John Kanyoni, president of a mineral exporters association in the Democratic Republic of Congo told Bloomberg, “But at the same time we’re traveling soon to Asia to find alternatives.”