Apple and Intel Cease Use of Conflict Minerals

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steve jobs ipad 2 apple intel terres rares conflit rdc

Steve Jobs lors du lancement de l’Ipad 2 le 2 mars dernier à San Francisco © AFP Photo Kimihiro Hoshino

With the global demand for electronics surging–especially for tablet computers like Apple’s iPad–these gadgets’ sophistication and long battery life has created a huge market for rare earth minerals, often called conflict minerals. Elements like copper and even rarer tungsten, copper, neodymium, dysprosium, coltan, and terbium are tagged with the “conflict” label because of their concentration in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This area that borders Rwanda has been the scene of a war that supposedly concluded in 2003, but still suffers from hostilities between various warring factions. Much of the fighting has been funded by the extraction of these conflict minerals, and children have found themselves forced into the dirty and dangerous work required to ready these elements for export.

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