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Apple boots smelters and refiners in crackdown on conflict minerals


Apple boots smelter and refiners in crackdown on conflict minerals
Conflict minerals can find their way into everything from jewelry to smartphones.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

As part of ongoing efforts to cut down on the use of conflict minerals, Apple removed 18 smelters and refiners from its supply chain last year.

Apple removed companies unwilling to submit to third-party audits of their premises. By taking them out of its supply chain, Apple’s able to claim 100% audit participation on the part of companies it works with.

iPhone turned into dust in the name of science


University of Plymouth
iPhone to iPhone. Dust to dust.
Photo: University of Plymouth

Want to see what happens when an iPhone is placed into a high powered blender?

No, it’s not the kind of mindless destruction porn that often pops up on YouTube. Instead, it’s a serious scientific demonstration carried out by the U.K.’s University of Plymouth. The goal? To show exactly which chemical elements make up the pricey handsets we keep in our pockets. Check out the video below.

Apple details efforts to squash minerals that pay for wars


Wolframite is made into Tungsten which is used in iPhones and other Apple devices.
Wolframite is made into Tungsten which is used in iPhones and other Apple devices.
Photo: Wikipedia

Apple had third parties audit all its mineral suppliers to be sure none are using their profits to support armed conflicts. Last year, there were five companies who refused the audits and all were dropped from Apple’s list of suppliers.

The iPhone maker regularly tests to be sure the materials that make its computers and accessories are sourced responsibly.

Apple praised for promoting conflict-free minerals trade


Apple's doing its part. Many others are not.
Photo: Enough Project

Apple’s attempts at cleaning up its use of conflict minerals appears to be working, based on a new report which claims the company is the “clear leader in supporting a conflict-free minerals trade.”

Published today, Enough Project’s 2017 Conflict Minerals Company Rankings says that Apple, Alphabet, HP, Microsoft and Intel are leading the way in conflict-free sourcing from the Congo, while Walmart, Sears, and Neiman Marcus are ranked as the worst offenders.

Enough Is Enough – Apple And Other Tech Companies Aim To Steer Us All Away From ‘Conflict Minerals’


Let's hope Apple continues to wipe out conflict-materials in all its products.
Let's hope Apple continues to lead the industry to wipe out conflict-materials from all tech products.

The Enough Project released a report today that ranks the top technology companies on how well each one is doing in wiping out the use of “conflict minerals” like tantalum, tin, and tungsten in their products. Apple, HP, Intel, Motorola are at the top of the list, while Nintendo is at the bottom, along with HTC, Sharp, Nikon, and Canon.

The minerals in question, mined in areas of armed conflict and human rights abuses, are used in many technology products around the globe, and The Enough Project – a non-profit arm of the Center for American Progress – tracks these in its effort to combat crimes against humanity.