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Apple investigating tin suppliers over 'conflict minerals' issue

updated 12:22 am EDT, Fri July 12, 2013

Will see if tin supplies coming from illegal mines in Indonesia

Following concerns that some of the supply of tin Apple and other companies use it tech products may come from illegal tin mines in Indonesia, Apple has added a paragraph to its "Supplier Responsibility" page explaining the situation and that it has conducted a "fact-finding visit" to investigate the issue. The company, which has previously said it is committed to using "conflict-free" materials not mined by any warring entities, will be working with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) on a study on tin mining in the Bangka Island region.

Apple also has partnerships with other watchdogs and agencies in an effort to avoid using suppliers of tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold that may be from conflict or war zones. The company says that Bangka Island is "one of the world's principal tin-producing regions" and that it is in the process of trying to "better understand the situation" so that it can avoid buying tin from illegal suppliers.

Apple itself does not directly buy tin or smelt the ore, but some 249 of Apple's suppliers for components used in Apple products and 64 smelters used by those suppliers do. Apple notes on the page that the list of smelters used changes periodically, with more being added to the list as Apple becomes aware of them.

by MacNN Staff




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