Located in the heart of Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo possesses the world's most resourceful gold deposits (Congo gold). The lands of DR Congo also hold an abundance of diamonds, colored metals, and rare metals, thus acquiring the name, "the geological miracle." DR Congo should have been one of the most prosperous countries on earth. However, several decades of conflict by numerous powers for the land's riches has left DR Congo in constant war. Over 4 million Congolese have died in the ceaseless war. Local armed forces collude with international companies and force local people to mine various minerals for little or no remuneration, bringing the colluded parties immense wealth at the expense and suffering of the local people. Therefore, illegal rare minerals that originate from DR Congo, such as cassiterite, wolframite, coltan, and gold, have been coined "blood minerals" by the media.
Although metal mining offers immense economic benefits for developed and developing countries, it also imposes numerous social and environmental problems, such as illegal child labor, human rights violation and conflict, health and security issues, forced labor, land and ecology damage, water pollution, and air acidification and pollution caused by GHG emissions from mining, smelting and refining, among numerous others.
In response to relevant regulations stipulated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was announced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 22 August 2012, enterprises are required to disclose the use of conflict materials (e.g.,gold, tantalum, tin, or tungsten) produced in DR Congo or neighboring countries. To fulfill its social responsibilities and satisfying the environmental demands of its clients, VIVOTEK conducted a self-investigation and investigated suppliers to determine the origins of its metal materials, consequently avoiding the use of metals from illegal mining areas. The inspection results of all VIVOTEK suppliers are tabulated in the following tables.
Conflict Minerals Survey - 137 Inspections Completed Among 197 Suppliers (70% of the overall primary/secondary suppliers).
Primary supplier criteria: IC, PCB; Secondary supplier criteria: all suppliers excluding primary suppliers