On August 22, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules requiring disclosure of "conflict minerals" originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries. Section 1502 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required that the SEC implement these new requirements for reporting companies whose products contain "conflict minerals" from the DRC and adjoining countries by disclosing the mine of origin and smelter used to process the minerals into metals. The minerals dubbed "conflict minerals" include the following: columbite-tantalite (coltan, Niobium, tantalum), asssiterite (tin), gold, wolframite (tungsten) or their derivatives. In order to comply with the regulations, publicly traded companies must report to the SEC whether products are "conflict mineral" free or contain "conflict minerals." It is important to note that the need for publicly traded companies to provide accurate information in its reports will drive them to contractually require their suppliers (at all levels and tiers) to provide the required conflict minerals information on the products that the publicly traded companies use in their operations
The final rule applies to a company that uses minerals including tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten if:
The rule can be viewed in its entirety at http://sec.gov/rules/final/2012/34-67716.pdf
Filing Deadlines. The first filing deadline for reporting companies is May 31, 2014, with an annual requirement on May 31st of each calendar year thereafter.
Dickinson Wright PLLC will provide additional updates concerning the Final Rule in the future. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact one of our attorneys for assistance.
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