CES: Intel CEO makes conflict-free minerals challange to the industry

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in his keynote for the CES 2014, which opens in Las Vegas later today, said that the issue of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was “casting a shadow” over the consuner electronics market.

“Two years ago, I told several colleagues that we needed a hard goal, a commitment to reasonably conclude that the metals used in our microprocessors are conflict-free,” said Krzanich.

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“We felt an obligation to implement changes in our supply chain to ensure that our business and our products were not inadvertently funding human atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said Krzanich.

Krzanich said Intel had achieved a critical milestone and the minerals used in microprocessor silicon and packages manufactured in Intel’s factories are “conflict-free” as concluded by third-party audits or direct validation by Intel’s supply chain organisation.

“Even though we have reached this milestone, it is just a start. We will continue our audits and resolve issues that are found,” said Krzanich.

According to a report to the United Nations Security Council Committee, a source of funding violence for armed groups includes the trade of mineral products from the DRC. Some of these so-called “conflict minerals” are in many kinds of products, including electronics.

Krzanich, said Intel has implemented a process within its supply chain organisation to validate that its sources – the smelters that provide tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used in microprocessor silicon and packages manufactured in Intel factories – are not inadvertently funding this conflict in the DRC.

Krzanich challenged the entire electronics industry to join Intel in its efforts.



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