Indonesian illegal tin mining and the smartphone and tablet connection

An article in Bloombergbusinessweek (August 23, 2012) describes the dangerous conditions faced by miners at illegal mines in Indonesia, with demand and price increased riven by the collateral impact of bans against “conflict materials” in the Congo. With the tin content in 16 iPads being greater than that in a car, growing demand for smartphones and tablets has driven up demand for tin solder. But efforts to control illegal mining by Indonesian authorities is criticized by the “Solder Products Value Council” – an industry supplier group – as being the reason behind price spikes. How much should end product manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung, be held responsible for the supplier work conditions and regulatory compliance? Are the price increases associated with legal environmentally friendly mining practices a desirable feature that will incent material usage reduction by OEMs? Should tracking of material to the source be a requirement that should be permitted to be demanded by customers and NGOs for global supply chains ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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