News / Science & Technology

Intel Says Chips Are 'Conflict-Mineral' Free

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
x
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
VOA News
U.S. chip maker Intel Corp said its processors are free of so-called “conflict minerals” from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The announcement, the first of its kind from a U.S. technology firm, came from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in his keynote speech to the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday.

"Two years ago, I told several colleagues that we needed a hard goal, a commitment to reasonably conclude that the metals used in our microprocessors are conflict-free," Krzanich said. "We felt an obligation to implement changes in our supply chain to ensure that our business and our products were not inadvertently funding human atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Even though we have reached this milestone, it is just a start. We will continue our audits and resolve issues that are found."

The strife-ridden area of eastern Congo is rich with minerals crucial to the making of many electronics products. These include gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten.

Over the past two decades, militant groups, rebels and various ethnic groups have been waging a bloody conflict fueled by money from “conflict minerals.”

While Intel’s announcement is a first, other companies will soon have to disclose any "conflict minerals" present in their supply chains as stated in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which aims to make transparent various companies’ financial interests in the DRC. The disclosures must be made by the end of May of this year.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William Qiam from: Vienna, Austria
January 11, 2014 5:21 PM
The biggest problem for both Intel and Enough Project is that both organizations know that it is impossible for Intel to do what they said they could, remove ALL "conflict minerals" from their supply chain the way they said it was accomplished.

Exclusively utilizing the ITRI "bag and tag" and the EICC smelter certification programs is that this self audited simplistic process will NEVER keep "conflict minerals" out of a supply chain in the east of the DRC and the other Great Lakes countries of Africa.

I suggested to ITRI (International Tin Research Group - a UK based tin support trade group) and EICC (The Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition - US based support group of all the global electronics manufacturing) that simply including the mineral fingerprinting capabilities of the mining industry standard XRF technology would give the necessary mineral traceability at a fraction of the cost of the "bag and tag" process alone.

Both ITRI and EICC certification processes are certifying the well known members business practices that the UN Group of Experts and others have consistently reported as being the prime drivers of the instability in the east of the DRC and Great Lakes region since colonial trading days. All one has to do is visit the mining areas in all the Great Lakes countries and they will see first hand that the standard of living of these mining areas is less developed now than during colonial times.

As I suggested to the SEC, and was included in the final "conflict minerals" rules unless the existing technology is utilized it will not be possible to conduct a "reasonable country of inquiry" that is now possible but not if there is no will on the part of companies of the stature of Intel to address this issue in a reasonable manner.

All Intel has really done accomplished at CES 2014 is use CEO Brian Krzanich keynote speech as a marketing gimmick to sell more product. The miners in the east of the DR Congo will have to wait for some small real change to their safety and basic livelihood improvements. I was Managing Director of a miner workforce of 3,800 in Rwanda and saw first hand the abuses the ITRI "bag and tag" process not only doesn't stop but actually encourages.


by: Obama's Law from: DRC
January 09, 2014 3:28 AM
Intel audited some of these smelters itself (see here: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3024292/starting-now-all-intel-microprocessors-are-conflict-free-heres-how-the-company-did-it).

This sets a dangerous precedent that risks turning this issue into a tick-box exercise that values style over substance. Take, for example, last year's tragedy in Bangladesh where more than 600 garment workers died in a building collapse that had been audited as 'safe' by many of the multinational companies sourcing from it.

The comparison with Bangladesh raises another serious issue. In the case of the garment industry, companies are auditing the direct source of the product being sold. This is not the case here.

Most important in determining the conflict-free nature of minerals from the eastern DRC is not what happens from the smelter to the final product, but from the mine to the smelter. You can go as deep into a smelter as you like, it's not going to tell you about the most important journey minerals make before they get there.

www.obamaslaw.com

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid