SEC Adopts Rule For Disclosing Use of Conflict Minerals

September 2012

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently adopted a rule pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) requiring certain issuers to publicly disclose their use of “conflict minerals” that originate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country.

Congress enacted Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act because of concerns that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by armed groups helps to finance conflict in the DRC region and contributes to an emergency humanitarian crisis. Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) by adding a new section, Section 13(p).

The Dodd-Frank Act directed the SEC to issue rules requiring certain issuers to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” that include tantalum, tin, gold, and tungsten1 if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production” of a product manufactured, or contracted to be manufactured, by those issuers. Issuers are required to provide this disclosure on a new form, Form SD, to be filed with the SEC.

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