Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges [December 2, 2014] [open pdf - 303KB]
"Generally defined, conflict minerals are 'minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, notably in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC]. Resource extraction payments have also received global attention. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, begun in 2002, is an organization made up of sponsoring countries (the United States is one), natural resource extractive companies, and other nongovernmental organizations. Their goal is the transparency of all payments made by resource extraction issuers to governments. Concerned about the armed conflicts in the DRC and about the need for transparency of resource extraction payments, Congress in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) added two sections to deal with these issues. Both of the sections require the issuing of regulations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) in order to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments. Very briefly, Section 1502 mandates the SEC to issue rules requiring the disclosure by publicly traded companies of the origins of listed conflict minerals. Section 1504 mandates SEC rules requiring resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to a foreign government or the federal government for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. The SEC has issued final rules, and court cases have challenged the rules on several grounds."
CRS Report for Congress, R43639
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html