SEC Staff Issues New Guidance on Compliance with the Conflict Minerals Rule
On May 30, 2013, the Division of Corporation Finance of the SEC issued new guidance regarding the rule published last year under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act relating to the use of conflict minerals in products. As described in Arnold & Porter's August 2012 Advisory, the final rule is intended to reduce the flow of funds from the extraction and sale of four minerals that have been used to finance armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries by increasing accountability for parties involved in the supply chains for those minerals. Although the SEC's recent guidance adds some clarity to compliance with the conflict minerals rule, it leaves unaddressed many of the important issues about the burdens imposed. The issues covered by the SEC's guidance fall into five categories that take form of a list of "Frequently Asked Questions."