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Apple watches for conflict metal in supply chain

Published on Feb 14, 2014 5:10 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Apple on Thursday said it has verified that an essential metal used in its mobile devices is not coming from sources that help finance violent groups in Africa.

The California-based maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers said it confirmed in January that smelters producing tantalum used in its devices were "conflict-free" by third-party auditors.

"We will continue to require all suppliers to use only verified tantalum sources," Apple said in a routinely issued Supplier Responsibility Report.

"We know supply chains fluctuate, and we'll maintain ongoing monitoring of our suppliers' smelters." Mines producing tantalum, gold, tungsten and other minerals needed to make Internet Age mobile devices are seen as sources of funding for fighting by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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