John Bullock Lighting Design
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It may not be Horsemeat, but ...


When it comes to it, there aren't many of us who are personally troubled by the concept of Blood Diamonds. We may be appalled by the concept of the very rich helping to fund terrorist activity in other parts of the world, but it's not something that actually touches us. On the other hand, when it may affect our choice of mobile phone, tablet, PC or even our motor car, then perhaps we should sit up and take notice.

Guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published at the end of last year raises the uncomfortable issue of Conflict Minerals being mined in the Democtratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Conflict Minerals is a new term to most of us, I suspect, but this just happens to be about mining for minerals rather than diamonds.

Conflict Mineral extraction in the DRC currently applies to:
Columbite-tantalite (coltan), used in electronic components that appear in most consumer electronic products
Cassiterite, used in soldering process again a vital factor in electronics
Wolframite, the source of tungsten and still a vital mineral in the lighting industry.
Gold, which has so many uses, of course.

A number of non-state armed groups are reported to be involved in the extraction, production and trade of Conflict Minerals. These minerals are entering the supply chain at a number of stages in the production process, either from the mine to the smelter, or from the smelter to the end user.

Recent legislative and regulatory initiatives are seeking ways to keep Conflict Minerals out of the supply chain by requiring companies to prove the provenance of the materials that they are trading. These initiatives follow other industries in seeking due diligence requirements from companies based in or trading with Western economies.

It's not horsemeat though it may as well be.

RIBA CPD in 2015

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