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July 11, 2011

Motorola Solutions Announces Project to Source Conflict-Free Tantalum from Democratic Republic of Congo
By Carolyn J Dawson
TMCnet Contributor

Motorola (News - Alert) Solutions recently announced the launch of the Solutions for Hope Project which is a pilot initiative to source conflict-free tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Tantalum is a mineral that is used in capacitors for electronic products and is sourced from the mineral coltan, which is available in rich supply in the DRC. Tantalum will be used in Motorola Solutions products.

In a release, Rich Valin, corporate vice president, chief procurement officer, Motorola Solutions said that “While the problem of conflict minerals cannot be solved by one company or a single industry, the Solutions for Hope Project underscores Motorola Solutions’ commitment to responsible sourcing from the DRC. We have helped to create this supply line to demonstrate that the DRC can and should remain a viable source of conflict-free minerals. This tightly controlled supply line will ensure conflict-free tantalum for these capacitors and allow time for a much-needed conflict-free verification system to develop in the DRC.”

Due to the new legislation laws, U.S. companies will have to disclose the use of certain minerals, including tantalum, in their products and will also have to describe the process used to ensure the purchase of these minerals does not fund the illegally armed groups operating in the DRC. To further the Solutions for Hope Project, Motorola Solutions along with a leading tantalum capacitor supplier have worked with a defined set of key suppliers to create a closed-pipe supply line, with all suppliers mine, exporter, processor, component manufacturer and end user identified in advance. Through the system created by the Solutions for Hope Project, Tantalum will begin flowing freely towards the end of July.

Asheton Stewart Carter, senior vice president, global engagement, Pact “To respond to the intent of the U.S. Dodd-Frank law to eliminate conflict minerals and also to maintain the livelihoods of thousands of people in the DRC, we need a system that differentiates between ‘conflict minerals’ and legitimate ‘non-conflict’ sources. Transparently purchasing and promoting non-conflict minerals rewards clean trade. This is equally important as an embargo on conflict minerals. We welcome the Solutions for Hope Project as an important contributor with the potential to deliver ‘peace dividends.’”

Carolyn John is a Contributor to TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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