April 18, 2014 – April 25, 2014
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.
KPMG: Conflict Minerals and Beyond: Part Four – Reporting and Disclosure
We have been following KPMG’s “Conflict Minerals and Beyond Series” for quite some time. Last summer, we highlighted the first three parts to the conflict minerals series. Last week, KPMG released its fourth and final part of the series titled Reporting and Disclosure.
According to KPMG, “[t]his report is intended to provide an introductory guide that companies should consider in preparing for the first filing requirements due on June 2, 2014. It includes case studies of companies that have been working on conflict minerals – offering insights into challenges, lessons learned, and ideas for developing a conflict minerals program.”
Reuters: Congo Province May Begin Exporting Certified “Conflict-Free” Minerals Soon
According to Peter Jones of Reuters, the “DRC’s tin producing North Kivu province may begin exports of certified ‘conflict-free’ minerals as soon as next week after the roll-out of a new barcode tagging scheme.”
Mr. Jones explains, “The new certification scheme organized by the tin industry body ITRI, which was rolled out in North Kivu in early March, aims to revive production by classifying mines according to a ‘traffic-light’ code – green for ‘conflict free’, yellow for unclear, and red for mines in violence-plagued zones.”
Emmanuel Ndimubanzi Ngoroba, head of Congo’s division of mines in North Kivu, informed Mr. Jones, “We’ve validated 17 mining sites in North Kivu as green, meaning conflict free.”
For more information, see Mr. Jones article titled Congo Province Poised to Start Certified “Conflict-Free” Tin Exports.
U.S. Lawmakers Urge SEC Chair Mary Jo White Not to Delay Implementation of the Conflict Minerals Rule
Twelve Democratic Senators and Representatives, led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), sent a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White insisting that the SEC refrain from delaying the initial year reporting deadline of June 2, 2014.
The letter states, “With the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Final Rule on Conflict Minerals now fully upheld by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and with that decision largely affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, we write to urge that all due diligence and other reporting requirements due on the May 31, 2014, initial filing deadline move forward as promulgated.” The letter goes on to state, “We urge the SEC to continue implementation of this rule in light of the judicial validation of both the underlying statute and the SEC’s promulgated rule.”
Earlier this month, a federal court of appeals upheld the due diligence requirements of the rule, but found that part of the rule violated the First Amendment and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings. Because of the uncertainty about the implications of the ruling and the pending argument in another case in which the First Amendment standard of review is being considered, the SEC could opt to stay the rule until more clarity can be provided and the other First Amendment case is decided.
A copy of the letter can be found on Senator Durbin’s website.