SESHA 2014 Symposium Abstract

A Journey To Conflict-free

Niekerk, Gary
(Intel, Chander, AZ)

Conflict minerals (tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold)originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are sometimes mined and sold to finance conflict and extreme levels of violence. Some of these minerals and the metals created from them can make their way into the supply chains of the electronics industry.Intel was one of the first companies to address the issue of conflict minerals in our supply chain, and we are working diligently to put the systems and processes in place that will enable us to reasonably conclude the tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold in our products are DRC conflict free. On January 6th, 2014 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich announced that Intel had achieved our goal to produce the world's first conflict-free microprossors. Intel celebrated that milestone by encouraging other companies and industries to join Intel in a collective effort to ’go conflict-free.” We achieved this conflict free milestone by focusing our efforts in two primary areas: identification and validation. Identification: We examined our supply chain and worked with our suppliers to determine those materials which contributed tantalum, tin, tungsten and/or gold to our products. For those products that contain at least one of these metals, we conducted a supply-chain survey and requested identification of the smelters or refiners supplying the metal. We contacted numerous smelters directly, visiting over 85 smelters in 21 countries, to obtain sourcing information, and to request their participation in the CFSP or similar independent 3rd party smelter validation audit. Validation: Intel utilized two systems to reasonably validate smelters were DRC conflict free. The majority of smelters were validated through the Conflict Free Smelter Program (CFSP), the London Bullion Market Association Responsible Gold Program, or the Responsible Jewelry Council Chain of Custody Certification program. Alternatively, Intel staff conducted smelter visits and worked directly with smelters to conduct a Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry to determine the Country of Origin of their incoming materials,or recycle and scrap materials. Intel will continue our work to establish DRC conflict free supply chains for our company and our industry and provide updates on our efforts as this issue is not resolved and will take ongoing vigilance