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The SEC’s Roundtable on Conflict Minerals

Yesterday the Securities and Exchange Commission hosted a public roundtable to discuss the Commission’s rulemaking efforts under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, addressing conflict mineral disclosure.

The Commission originally proposed rules to implement Section 1502 in December 2010, and then extended the rule’s comment period through March 2011.

To date, the Commission has received nearly 26,000 form comment letters supporting conflict mineral disclosure, over 265 individual comment letters of various types and has logged over 90 meeting with interested individuals and organizations.

The Commission is once again opening the comment period, through November 1, 2011, and soliciting comments on the various issues discussed at yesterday’s roundtable (a webcast of which is available here).

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  • Chuck Blakeman October 27, 2011, 9:42 AM

    Our Congo-based company works with Congolese tribes to help
    them export without a dime going to conflict groups. Dodd-Frank has been
    disastrous for them.

     

    I challenge the supporters to take a poll of those they are
    supposedly trying to protect. The response would tell them that, while
    Dodd-Frank was well-meaning, it is an unmitigated disaster in practice. COCABI,
    COMIMPA and COMIDER represent 20,000 miners in the conflict area.  They all say they’ve never even been
    contacted. 

     

    While all the NGOs and politicians are quoting each other’s
    support of this, we are quoting chiefs and tribes who are actually being
    affected by it, all of whom say it has been disastrous for them and their
    livelihood.  Doesn’t this say
    something very powerful to us?

     

    Also, there are six regions from which Dodd-Frank minerals
    are mined, and only one of them has ever had anything to do with conflict.
    Dodd-Frank has put them all out of business before it is even enacted.  The World Bank says it has negatively
    affected 10 million Congolese.  If
    all Congo minerals came from criminals, then Dodd-Frank would make sense.  But the fact is that probably 1-3% of
    the affected minerals come from criminals, the rest are from honest,
    hard-working chiefs and their tribes, all of whom have lost their only source
    of income in the second poorest country on earth.

     

    I was in Tanzania a few weeks ago to help a chief export his
    coltan using a visible, well-documented process that ensures not a dime goes to
    conflict. His people will go hungry because the smelters, citing Dodd-Frank,
    have vanished. The chief is devastated, as are the millions who find their
    meager livelihoods destroyed by this over-reaching act.

     

    The issue with Dodd-Frank is that it is a nuclear option
    that demonizes minerals instead of criminals.  It’s no different than burning down every house in town to
    stop a burglar from stealing, who will simply steal from somewhere else.  Ludicrous.

     

    Dodd-Frank has burned down the entire mining industry in the
    Congo in hopes that their scorched earth policy will catch a militia group in
    its path.  They are willing to take
    down every innocent man, woman, and child who live off mining. Such massive
    collateral damage is not acceptable under any circumstance.

     

    Remove mining from the equation and the militia will exact
    its pound of flesh from the locals by other means. This should be handled by
    targeting militias, not mining. Dodd-Frank takes the route of universal
    collateral damage, which, before the bill is enacted, has already destroyed the
    livelihoods of the innocents who depend on it.

     

    As Eric Kajemba, the leader of a Congolese civil-society
    group has said, “If the advocacy groups aren’t speaking for the people of
    eastern Congo, whom are they speaking for?”

     

     

    Reply
  • Chuck Blakeman says:

    Our Congo-based company works with Congolese tribes to help
    them export without a dime going to conflict groups. Dodd-Frank has been
    disastrous for them.

     

    I challenge the supporters to take a poll of those they are
    supposedly trying to protect. The response would tell them that, while
    Dodd-Frank was well-meaning, it is an unmitigated disaster in practice. COCABI,
    COMIMPA and COMIDER represent 20,000 miners in the conflict area.  They all say they’ve never even been
    contacted. 

     

    While all the NGOs and politicians are quoting each other’s
    support of this, we are quoting chiefs and tribes who are actually being
    affected by it, all of whom say it has been disastrous for them and their
    livelihood.  Doesn’t this say
    something very powerful to us?

     

    Also, there are six regions from which Dodd-Frank minerals
    are mined, and only one of them has ever had anything to do with conflict.
    Dodd-Frank has put them all out of business before it is even enacted.  The World Bank says it has negatively
    affected 10 million Congolese.  If
    all Congo minerals came from criminals, then Dodd-Frank would make sense.  But the fact is that probably 1-3% of
    the affected minerals come from criminals, the rest are from honest,
    hard-working chiefs and their tribes, all of whom have lost their only source
    of income in the second poorest country on earth.

     

    I was in Tanzania a few weeks ago to help a chief export his
    coltan using a visible, well-documented process that ensures not a dime goes to
    conflict. His people will go hungry because the smelters, citing Dodd-Frank,
    have vanished. The chief is devastated, as are the millions who find their
    meager livelihoods destroyed by this over-reaching act.

     

    The issue with Dodd-Frank is that it is a nuclear option
    that demonizes minerals instead of criminals.  It’s no different than burning down every house in town to
    stop a burglar from stealing, who will simply steal from somewhere else.  Ludicrous.

     

    Dodd-Frank has burned down the entire mining industry in the
    Congo in hopes that their scorched earth policy will catch a militia group in
    its path.  They are willing to take
    down every innocent man, woman, and child who live off mining. Such massive
    collateral damage is not acceptable under any circumstance.

     

    Remove mining from the equation and the militia will exact
    its pound of flesh from the locals by other means. This should be handled by
    targeting militias, not mining. Dodd-Frank takes the route of universal
    collateral damage, which, before the bill is enacted, has already destroyed the
    livelihoods of the innocents who depend on it.

     

    As Eric Kajemba, the leader of a Congolese civil-society
    group has said, “If the advocacy groups aren’t speaking for the people of
    eastern Congo, whom are they speaking for?”