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Monitoring Conflict Minerals -- Who's Accountable?

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"The term "conflict diamonds" may sound familiar — that is, diamonds mined in a war zone and often sold to buy weapons. But how about "conflict minerals"? That is what activists are calling elements like gold, tin and tantalum, used in computers and cell phones. These minerals also come from mines in war-torn countries. The Senate recently passed a bill blocking the import of conflict minerals, and the House is working on its own version. But some businesses think a legislative solution won't work. Mining takes place in muddy holes in the hills of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dozens of men — and often children — dig with picks, shovels and hands under the watchful eyes of armed guards. The areas that Portland, Ore., activist Lisa Shannon has visited are far from any town and in the middle of a war zone, where millions have died. Shannon, of the campaign RAISE Hope for Congo, says the system is corrupt."
SOURCE:   npr