Minerals harvested for consumer electronic devices used to finance civil war in Congo

Don’t throw out that old motherboard of yours just yet – it holds a trace amount of gold and other precious minerals, but you will need the right equipment, technical know how and knowledge to harvest it. It seems that all the tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold that are mined in Eastern Congo will see profits generated being used to contribute to financing the country’s bloody civil war. Apparently, rebel groups and the national army control many of Eastern Congo’s mines. Does this mean we should boycott all purchases of consumer electronics? It is a hard question to answer, since electronics companies do argue that the supply chain is nearly impossible to track, as thousands of companies leave little or no paperwork. The next time you listen to a track on your iPod touch, say a little prayer for those who have lost their lives in the Congo civil war as chances are some of them would have died in the mines that harvested such materials.

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about Gold.

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