Conflict Minerals - Final Rule

August 2012
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:

  •  That company files reports with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and
  • The minerals are necessary to the functionality or production of a product manufactured or contracted to be manufactured by that company.

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

J. Bryan Williams is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Troy office. He can be reached at 248.433.7289, or jwilliams@dickinsonwright.com.

James A. Plemmons is a Member and Practice Department Manager in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office. He can be reached at 313.223.3106 or jplemmons@dickinsonwright.com

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