July 12, 2013 – July 19, 2013
The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Sanders (US) LLP and should not be deemed to be endorsements of them. The Recap is intended to be a compilation of articles and events to encourage discussion within the conflict minerals community and to keep our readers updated on the most recent developments.

Apple Updates “Supplier Responsibility Page” to Reflect Concern Over Illegal Mining of Tin in Bankga Island, Indonesia

The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, reports that “Apple is investigating whether tin mined from Bangka Island in Indonesia, where child labor and environmental damage from the mining has been reported, is used in its iPhones and other products.”

Apple responded to the concern by updating its Supplier Responsibility Page to state, “Bangka Island, Indonesia, is one of the world’s principal tin-producing regions. Recent concerns about the illegal mining of tin from this region prompted Apple to lead a fact-finding visit to learn more. Using the information we’ve gathered, Apple initiated an EICC working group focused on this issue, and we are helping to fund a new study on mining in the region so we can better understand the situation.”

Word of this has spread to Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organizations, where, through its “Make it Better Campaign”, is putting pressure on Apple to publicly disclose whether the tin used in its products is from Bangka Island.

According to Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Page, as of July 2013, it sources tin from 249 suppliers.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: “Information on Responsible Sourcing and Companies Affected”

Michael J. Kavanagh of Bloomberg Businessweek reports in his article titled, “Congo Fighting May Hamper Conflict-Mineral Push, GAO Reports”, that the GAO, in its 52-page report, found “while new monitoring programs are helping companies identify supplies of so-called conflict-free minerals, there’s a ‘lack of security, lack of infrastructure, and lack of capacity in the DRC that could affect the ability to expand on efforts.'”