The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to announce rules aimed at fighting corruption and trade in so-called “conflict minerals” at a meeting on Aug. 22
The provisions are part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.
Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank requires oil, gas and mining companies to publish payments they make to governments on a country- and project-level to help deter corruption.
The regulations, specifically Section 1502, also aim to prevent trade of “conflict minerals” from fueling human rights abuses and conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It would require U.S.-listed companies using tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold from DRC or neighboring countries to conduct checks of their supply chains and disclose annually to the SEC whether their minerals purchases have benefited abusive armed groups.
“Compelling firms to take responsibility for the harmful impact of the minerals trade could cut off a major source of cash for warring parties and help to break the cycle of violence in eastern DRC,” said the human right organization Global Witness.
It complained “industry groups have aggressively lobbied the SEC to delay and water down the rules for 1502 and 1504, which were originally scheduled to be released 16 months ago.”
Global Witness called on the SEC “to issue strong rules that meet the intent of the law in curbing corruption and combating the trade in conflict minerals.”
The conflict mineral legislation was the subject of an American Shipper article
last year. - Chris Dupin