On August 22, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) adopted annual disclosure requirements that implement Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), which requires disclosures relating to conflict minerals (the Final Rules). Due to doubts as to whether they would accomplish their intended benefits, the SEC vote to adopt the disclosure requirements was close, with adoption passing by a 3-2 vote.
The minerals identified as "conflict minerals" are columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, gold, wolframite, and their derivatives—tantalum, tin, and tungsten—as well as any other derivatives of those minerals and any other minerals and their derivatives that the Secretary of State identifies as conflict minerals because they are financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country (collectively, the DRC). The new annual calendar year disclosures will be required beginning with the 2013 calendar year, with the filing due on May 31, 2014, and on May 31 every year thereafter. The SEC's adopting release (the Adopting Release) can be accessed online here.