* Intel, Motorola Solutions, Apple, HP target conflict
* Nintendo making no known effort, says Enough Project
* HTC, Sharp, Canon, Nikon lack progress in fight - report
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 15 Intel, Motorola
Solutions, Hewlett Packard and Apple
are pioneering progress toward wiping out the use of conflict
minerals - like tantalum, tin and tungsten - in their products,
but other companies are lagging, according to a report by a
nonprofit rights group.
The Enough Project - an arm of the Center for American
Progress that combats crimes against humanity - placed Nintendo
at the bottom of its conflict minerals ranking and
also singled out HTC, Sharp, Nikon
and Canon for a lack of progress.
"Nintendo has made no known effort to trace or audit its
supply chain," the "Taking conflict out of consumer gadgets"
report said. "Sharp, HTC, Nikon and Canon are taking initial
steps to join industry efforts, but their progress remains far
behind industry leaders."
Nikon declined to comment on the report. Sharp, HTC, Canon
and Nintendo were not immediately available for comment.
The Enough Project scored companies on efforts to trace the
source of the minerals and metals used, whether detailed audits
of supply chains were being carried out, and if steps are being
taken to develop an international conflict-free certification.
Other criteria included environmental rankings and whether
support had been expressed for legislation on conflict minerals.
Intel, Motorola Solutions, HP and Apple "have moved forward
to develop solutions despite delays in the legislative
rule-making process by the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission or SEC - an excuse that many other companies have
used to explain their lack of significant action," the report
The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law requires companies
to disclose whether they use tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten
from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) is due to vote on Aug. 22 on
long-delayed guidelines needed to enforce the conflict minerals
Intel, Motorola Solutions, HP and Apple have taken steps
including developing a smelter auditing program and an aid
project for lagging smelters and aid projects to help develop a
clean minerals trade, the report said.
The Enough Project said SanDisk, Philips,
Sony, Panasonic, RIM and AMD
have significantly improved their efforts "by surveying their
suppliers, piloting due diligence, and joining the smelter audit
The U.S. conflict minerals rule has been arguably one of the
most controversial rules in the Dodd-Frank law.
Companies would need to identify if any conflict minerals
are used in their products. If the minerals are present, the
companies would then need to conduct a due diligence check to
track them through the supply chain to their origins.
War-torn DRC sits on large reserves of minerals used in
electronics production and the Enough Project has warned that
months of unrest in Congo's volatile east is hampering progress
made in curbing the conflict minerals trade.
Tutsi-led M23 rebels are fighting government forces in the
resource-rich eastern Congo and U.N. experts and Kinshasa have
accused neighboring Rwanda and Uganda of supporting the
uprising. Both countries have rejected the allegations.
The Enough Project has said the armed groups in eastern
Congo were still generating income by smuggling tantalum, tin
and tungsten through Rwanda.