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There is a brutal civil war taking place in The Democratic Republic of Congo -- a war where the government is not strong enough to do more than patronize the bloody militias that fight amongst themselves. But what does this have to do with the environmental movement?

The DRC is rich in natural resources. Many of the metals that are used in green technology are found there. Electrodes in your cell phones, components in your computer, your catalytic converter, and materials of the green economy are regularly mined in The Democratic Republic of Congo. You might find electronic devices that funded this conflict in your pocket right now. These metals must be regulated just like the blood diamonds of Sierra Leone. H/t to Land of Enchantment for a great diary on Blood Diamonds.

We need to work toward a blanket prohibition on using blood minerals that come from The Democratic Republic of Congo.

There is a fledgling movement in congress to seriously regulate consumption of blood minerals in the United States. The Senate has come a little further than The House in terms of embracing this issue, but the problem with both houses is that their vision isn't wide enough.

There are many metals found in The DRC that are the bread and butter of green technology and green research. The problem is that whatever the Congolese mines produce gets plundered by the local groups that fight one another. The mines in eastern Congo are controlled by the militias.

Advocacy groups concentrate on "Three T" metals: Tantalum, Tin, and Tungsten. Gold is another conflict metal found the The DRC. It is very important to work toward a boycott of these metals if they come from illicit sources -- these are the main metals that fuel the egregious war there. But there are also nickel-copper mines that produce Pt-group metals. Perhaps the bigger bird to kill is copper, but a palpable amount of palladium is thought to be present in those mines. Platinum and palladium are found on many other parts of the globe, so prohibiting them as conflict metals will cause little grief to industry.

Catalysis is a subfield that is critical to green science, and Pt-group metals are the bread and butter of [heterogeneous] catalysis. They are used in "greening" industrial processes. They are used in organic transformations (reforming), and in cleaning up after petroleum fuels to minimize pollution when they burn (refining, catalytic conversion.) What is more relevant as we look forward is that Pd and Pt are important catalysts for fuel cell technology.

A few people in congress are interested in stopping the blood mineral trade:

"Blood diamonds," the worldwide campaign to stop the sale of diamonds that fueled a bloody civil war (and the name of a better-than-average Hollywood film) is about to be replaced by conflict minerals, a two-word phrase every bit as catchy but even more difficult to regulate.

Not to mention legislate — a process that is now going on in earnest at the direction of Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.).

But I hope this gets your attention, because the violence in The DRC is absolutely monstrous.

Systematic rape in the DRC is unprecedented. It is complicated, because the acts of violence span across ethnic groups, and rape is used in many contexts. It also differs from other systematic rape campaigns in recent European history: it is made fantastically complex by the fact that women have little status and the DRC tolerates rape during relatively peaceful times. In times of war, the government supports militia groups who are allowed to rape and pillage with no consequence.


There are many uses of rape in war. Sometimes women are used for gratification, or because of customs and superstition that sanction rape like in the video above. If it spans across ethnic groups, it is often used as weapon of torture, or for ethnic cleansing. Women are raped in front of their families, they are forced into pregnancies to "dilute" ethnic bloodlines, and they are kidnapped and kept for the wanton comfort of the bloody militias. But the violence between ethnic groups is not limited to rape. The Interahamwe militias particularly have a habit of mutilating women and leaving them to suffer a protracted and painful death.

The UN High Commission on Human Rights (UNHCHR) on the DRC:

The human rights situation in the DRC continues to deteriorate. Serious violations, such as arbitrary executions, rape, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are pervasive, committed mostly by the army, police and intelligence services. The latter, highly politicized, are often used to commit politically-motivated crimes during specific periods and then revert to daily harassment and intimidation of Congolese citizens. Armed groups operating in the country, both foreign and Congolese, although responsible for only six per cent of documented human rights abuses, have perpetrated massacres, arbitrary executions, abductions of villagers, and subjected women to systematic rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence with full impunity.


What's happening in congress now? There is a bill floating in the Senate, S.891, and another bill is currently under draft in the House. I am currently working on analysis to help determine the best proposal for bill that will float in the House, but that work is not yet finished. I will write an update diary when that is done.

The Senators who are co-sponsering S.900 are: Samuel Brownback, Roger Wicker, Benjamin Cardin, Russell Feingold, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Roland Burris, and Mark Begich.


What can you do without leaving your chair?

-- Write a letter to VP Joe Biden, and tell him that blood minerals support the horrific violence in The DRC.

-- Contact your senators and representative. Your effort here will make an enormous impact toward advancing good legislation. Refer to the recent hearing in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations regarding the violence in The Sudan and The DRC, tell them about the problem of blood minerals, and tell them that you want a law that prohibits using conflict metals.

-- If your senator co-sponsored S.891, be sure to tell them that Pt-group metals might also come from a milita controlled mine in The DRC.

-- Write to the companies that make your electronic devices, and encourage them to boycott blood minerals, sign the Conflict Minerals Pledge and offer certification that their products are blood mineral-free.

-- Work with advocacy groups like Enough, and Raise Hope for Congo.

-- Work with a group that directly supports the women who are affected by the violence in the DRC, like Women for Women International, or HealAfrica.

-- Learn more. Start by looking at a slideshow about a Congolese tin mine from NYT, or youtube taking on Conflict Minerals, or check out the advocates who call themselves Raise Hope For Congo.

I will be passing petitions during the upcoming months, while I work to improve the legislation that is currently being floated in congress. If you are interested in signing one or more of those petitions, please contact me:

My petition email address is:

If you are a scientist and use a metal that could potentially come from a mine in The DRC and want to sign a petition that specifically asks chemical supply companies to boycott conflict minerals, please send me an email with the subject header "Petition Against Blood Minerals -- Use."

If you are an academic or researcher of any kind who does not use potential conflict metals in your work and want to sign a petition toward supporting a boycott of blood minerals, please send me an email with the subject header "Petition Against Blood Minerals -- Do Not Use."

Anyone else who wants to sign a petition toward boycotting blood minerals, please send me an email with the subject header "Petition to Boycott Blood Minerals."

I will email you when the petitions are ready.

If you are interested in environmental issues, please join DK GreenRoots, a new environmental advocacy group created by Meteor Blades and Patriot Daily. DK GreenRoots comprises bloggers at Daily Kos and eco-advocates from other sites. We focus on a broad range of issues and are always open to new ones.

Over the coming weeks and months, DK Greenroots will initiate a variety of environmental projects, some political and some having nothing directly to do with politics at all.

Some projects may involve the creation of eco working groups that can be used for a variety of actions, including implementing political action or drafting proposed legislation. We are in exciting times now because for the first time in decades, significant environmental legislation will be passed by Congress. It is far easier to achieve real change if our proposal is on the table rather than fighting rearguard actions.

We alert each other to important eco-stories in the mainstream media and on the Internet, promote bloggers at one site to readers at other sites, connect bloggers of similar interests to each other and discuss crucial eco-issues.

Come help us put these projects together. Bring ideas of your own. There is no limit on what we can accomplish together.

Schedule for DK GreenRoots - yesterday, today and tomorrow
All listed times are PDT.  Full week’s schedule can be found here.

Wednesday July 1:
5am: Beware the Silver Bullet ... by A Siegel
9am: Good Green Jobs: Moving from Rhetoric to Reality by ChangeToWin
noon: The Video that Could Save Your Life by FishOutofWater
1 pm: Go Ahead, NPS, Seize These Cal State Parks, Please! by RLMiller
3 pm: The Insanity of Bottled Water by Asinus Asinum Fricat
5 pm: Keep an eye out for bear - Shenandoah NP photodiary by it really is that important
7 pm: Marine Life Series: Responsible Shrimp Buying by Mark H
9 pm: Soil organic carbon pools in the northern circumpolar permafrost region by shpilk
10pm: Green Transit and Hybrids: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles by Vikingkingg
Wednesday Series:
Bookflurries: Bookchat: The Setting as Character by cfk
Siglines! Caring for the environment by Wee Mama
Green Diary Rescue by Meteor Blades

Thursday July 2:
11 am: My Lake has Singing Sands by Muskegon Critic
3 pm: Poverty Near the "High Hazard" Coal Ash Sites by Bruce Nilles
5 pm: Green Social Networking by boatsie
7 pm: rb137 on blood minerals
9 pm:  Jill Richardson on food
afternoon/evening:  Meteor Blades (whenever he’s ready)
Thursday Series:
Morning Feature: Wolves and Predators by NCrissieB
Labor Diary Rescue, 7/2/09 by djtyg
Write On!  Have you been stripped? by SensibleShoes
Considered Forthwith by Casual Wednesday
Health Series Meets DK Greenroots! by TheFatLadySings
Top Comments by Elise
Overnight News Digest by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse
Green Diary Rescue by Meteor Blades

Friday July 3:
9am: Turkana on beef (and more)
11 am:  Meteor Blades
3 pm:  TXsharon
7 pm: Spirit of Brash Optimism by Land of Enchantment
Friday Series:
Morning Feature by NCrissieB
Mojo Friday by rbutters
Frugal Fridays by sarahnity
Friday Night at the Movies by Land of Enchantment
Overnight News Digest by Oke
Green Diary Rescue by Meteor Blades

Plus there'll be music on environmental themes in jotter's High Impact Diaries every morning, along with schedule updates.  We can make more slots as needed - anyone who has an environmentally-related story they want to post this week, we’ll create a place on the schedule for you.

Originally posted to rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:00 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Democratic Republic of Congo Mineral Reserves (8+ / 0-)

      From an excellent U.N. report.
      Image Hosted by

      Thanks for the well researched diary on a difficult subject.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:28:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "So many Kurtzes" UN article (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, dsteffen, rb137, Otteray Scribe

        Thanks again for hearing the cry of the people of the Congo. From the article linked in the map above.

        The Justice Minister, Luzolo Bambi Lessa, believes change is possible, and asks me to help: " Many international agreements deal with this sort of problem. We need the laws and the domestic administrations to implement these agreements." This is not unrealistic. It is common sense, but the task is daunting.

        One doesn't even know where to start. " Will the world ever hear the cry of the people of Congo?" I wonder. At the outset of the twentieth century, the Democratic Republic of the Congo could have been reasonably called the most murderous part of the European scramble for Africa. Joseph Conrad put it bluntly: " All of Europe collaborated in the making of Kurtz", the evil character in The Heart of Darkness. Today, at the outset of the twenty-first century, what has changed is that the plunder is not only European. No longer. Writing today, Conrad would very probably blame the entire world for the making of Kurtz.

        " It's a situation that cannot, shouldn't last" Abbe MaluMalu states. I shake my head: " I don't see great motivation to do anything about it." I should have added: " There are so many Kurtzes these days in, and outside, Congo". At times I wonder about my very personal, human capacity for outrage at pain inflicted on another human being, whether by drugs, crime, slavery, arms or terrorism, and about the cynicism I meet as I explain what goes on around the world, and how my Office is trying to cope.

        "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:39:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  terrific diary rb137 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in oz, rb137, Otteray Scribe

      thanks for such a thorough examination of such an important issue and for joining eco week. i hope you write some more eco diaries. :)

      Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

      by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:09:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh rb, let me tell you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb137, Otteray Scribe

      I started research back on this a few years ago, about how the Rwandan genocide was really about paving the way for the infiltration of multinationals into the Congo with Rwanda serving as the launching point.
      from project censored

      The world’s most neglected emergency, according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, is the ongoing tragedy of the Congo, where six to seven million have died since 1996 as a consequence of invasions and wars sponsored by western powers trying to gain control of the region’s mineral wealth. At stake is control of natural resources that are sought by U.S. corporations—diamonds, tin, copper, gold, and more significantly, coltan and niobium, two minerals necessary for production of cell phones and other high-tech electronics; and cobalt, an element essential to nuclear, chemical, aerospace, and defense industries.

      Columbo-tantalite, i.e. coltan, is found in three-billion-year-old soils like those in the Rift Valley region of Africa. The tantalum extracted from the coltan ore is used to make tantalum capacitors, tiny components that are essential in managing the flow of current in electronic devices. Eighty percent of the world’s coltan reserves are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Niobium is another high-tech mineral with a similar story.
      Coltan makes its way out of the mines to trading posts where foreign traders buy the mineral and ship it abroad, mostly through Rwanda. Firms with the capability turn coltan into the coveted tantalum powder, and then sell the magic powder to Nokia, Motorola, Compaq, Sony, and other manufacturers for use in cell phones and other products.

      Keith Harmon Snow emphasizes that any analysis of the geopolitics in the Congo, and the reasons for why the Congolese people have suffered a virtually unending war since 1996, requires an understanding of the organized crime perpetrated through multinational businesses. The tragedy of the Congo conflict has been instituted by invested corporations, their proxy armies, and the supra-governmental bodies that support them.

      The process is tied to major multinational corporations at all levels. These include U.S.-based Cabot Corp. and OM Group; HC Starck of Germany; and Nigncxia of China—corporations that have been linked by a United Nations Panel of Experts to the atrocities in DRC. Extortion, rape, massacres, and bribery are all part of the criminal networks set up and maintained by huge multinational companies. Yet as mining in the Congo by western companies proceeds at an unprecedented rate—some $6 million in raw cobalt alone exiting DRC daily—multinational mining companies rarely get mentioned in human rights reports.  

      "Imagine better than the best you know." Neville Goddard.

      by boatsie on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 10:01:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please send me email! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Otteray Scribe

        If you wouldn't mind, can we talk? I am doing analysis right now and preparing a presentation for a some congresscritters' advisors.

        Drop me an email, or I you.  :)  And thanks!

        ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

        by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 10:06:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  another great resource (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rb137, Otteray Scribe

        At this point, it is important to understand that Congo became, and remains to this day, an intersection of three competing resource extraction networks that were instantiated and entrenched during the years of conflict in the post-Mobutu era.  Described in stunning detail by several reports from the UN Security Council Panel of Experts who studied the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these three networks are controlled by three proximate powers in frictional conjunction in the mining zones of eastern Congo: Uganda, Rwanda and the Congolese government.  Each governing entity provides armed forces -- often supplemented with and trained by private western military contractors -- which have installed themselves in various regions adjacent to their own countries, and have maintained a baseline equilibrium since the end of the Second Congo War.  As is well known, these various armies, militias and other militant factions are almost all backed by the United States and various European governments.  Rwanda and Uganda are both ardently supported by US interests.  Indeed, Rwandan president Paul Kagame is essentially a US military asset planted in central Africa, having been trained at US military command school in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas up until the Uganda-backed invasion of Rwanda by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) in 1990.  The invasion led to the installation of Kagame as president.  He remains firmly entrenched in Kigali, with enthusiastic US support.

        Read the entire article here at Imperial Clash on the Congo Resource Front

        "Imagine better than the best you know." Neville Goddard.

        by boatsie on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 10:07:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I will return to answer comments. (12+ / 0-)

    I had minor surgery today, and am getting bleary waiting for a comment to appear. If you leave one, I will be back in a little while to respond.

    ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

    by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:28:45 PM PDT

  •  Great diary. (11+ / 0-)

    Please post the petitions when available.

    Two dumb questions for non-scientists.  Pt = platinum and Pd = palladium, correct?  Pt Group = ???  And which can be obtained easily from other, less bloody sources, and which are pretty well unique to the DRC?

    Healthy Minds & Bodies, discussing outdoor adventures Tuesdays 5 PM PDT

    by RLMiller on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:30:23 PM PDT

    •  Not dumb questions. (6+ / 0-)

      I left too much implied because I am bleary.

      The cool thing about Pt-group metals is that they are plentiful in many places other than Congo. That's why I'm working with McDermott's office to get them added to the legislation -- it's a no brainer.

      Pt is platinum and PD in palladium. The Pt-group metals are platinum, palladium, osmium, ruthenium, iridium, and rhodium. Palladium is the metal that I'm concerned about -- also copper and nickel.

      The four metals that the advocacy groups are trying to regulate are plentiful there -- tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold. Tantalum is a really important metal because it has such wonderful properties: you can heat it to high temperatures, it does not become brittle, and it beautifully easy to machine. The other two are more plentiful elsewhere, I think. Tantalum is really precious stuff...

      Email me at if you want to sign a petition. I'll probably circulate it that way first...

      ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

      by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:38:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

    We need to work toward a blanket prohibition on using minerals that come from The Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest nations in the world.  
    How will a BLANKET prohibition help things?

    •  The DRC doesn't get any money (6+ / 0-)

      from these mines. The militias do.

      Until the war subsides, there will be little hope for the DRC. The war will not subside until the blood mineral trade stops.

      I'll go back and include the word "blood" in front of "mineral" in that sentence if you want. I'm afraid that it will not change the meaning at all.

      ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

      by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:43:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Minerals - (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dsteffen, BlueGenes, rb137, polar bear

        Can simply be laundered.
        Zambian source.  Angolan source.

        A blanket ban has the potentially unintentional side effect of choking off any short term improvement in legitimate mineral sales from the DRC.

        I teach genocide history.
        I have been talking about this for almost ten years.
        So I am no newbie to the issue.

        •  They can be laundered. (4+ / 0-)

          That's why we have to write careful laws.

          My understanding is that these metals might come out of South Africa or Botswana, but not Zambia or Angola. I am still doing the analysis, though.

          There really isn't a legitimate metal trade in the DRC right now. The Senate Committe on Foreign Relations is going to try and work with the DRC government to protect against exactly what you're suggesting here. The government is nominally controlled by the strongest of the militias, though, and give them liberty to control what they like, from what I undertand currently.

          I appreciate your input, by the way. Useful stuff.

          ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

          by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:27:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This proposal is designed to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, dsteffen, rb137, polar bear

      "starve the beast."  The DRC will never reap the benefits of their own minerals until the rapacious warlords are brought to heel.  Even then, they will have to beware of the economic hitmen.  

      It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

      by Otteray Scribe on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:50:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I recall that before the experiments (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, dsteffen, KenBee, rb137, polar bear

    of Stanley Pons and Martin Fleishman were left for dead, there was a big spike in the price of palladium by speculators.  

    And the same thing could happen again if there is some new technology for energy generation using any of these metals.  The price jump in palladium as a result of the cold fusion experiments is a warning shot as to what could happen if there is a sudden breakthrough.  It is always about the money. Speculators do not care about the morality, it is about the Benjamins.  

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

    by Otteray Scribe on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:45:32 PM PDT

  •  i hope you also post an action diary (5+ / 0-)

    when the petitions are ready. on a somewhat hopeful note, NOVA showed these scientists making fake diamonds, that might be used in small electronics someday soon.  wouldn't that be grand?

    i'm not sure how many natural resources the diamonds could replace, but they are just like real diamonds, and so are super conductors of voices and heat and maybe more.

    •  Been there, done that. (4+ / 0-)

      I've used artificial diamond in my research (or my collaborators have) since the mid-1990's. It's a great material.

      What's cool is that it's a dense ceramic crystal, so it's a great thermal conductor but it's an electrical insulator. It is also reasonbly radiation resistent...

      But diamond can't replace these metals. These things are used primarily for their electronic properties. They need to be metal -- and preferably in the transition section of the periodic table (the useful chemistry is d-shell stuff, which happens in the transition metals...)

      Diamond doesn't fit any of those critera.

      ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

      by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:53:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Which materials of the green economy? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsteffen, rb137, Otteray Scribe

    My loving marriage of 17 years is now a symbol of inequality and discrimination.

    by coigue on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:57:17 PM PDT

    •  Research and engineering (7+ / 0-)

      depends on a lot of these metals.

      Tungsten is a big one, because it's so well understood (studied), and it can bne heated to high temperatures (about half as hot as the surface of the sun.) Once it's been heated, it becomes really brittle, though, and it can't be machined.

      Tantalum is a sweetheart of engineering. It can be heated about as high as tunsgten, but it doesn't become brittle -- so it can be machined again and again. It is fantastically useful for electronic components.

      Tin is another important metal you'll find in electronic devices.

      Gold. Well, you know gold.

      Then there are catalyst metals. I don't think there is a whole lot of Pt in those mines, but I've read more than one serious report that suggests Pd could become a blood mineral. Pd gets used for many things, including fuel cells, blood sugar monitors, "greening" reactions (cleaning up toxic junk after industrial processes.)

      These were the ones I had in mind when I wrote the diary, but it isn't an exhaustive list. And we can get these metals elsewhere...

      ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

      by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:04:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of my undergraduate profs (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, coigue, dsteffen, FishOutofWater

        was N. F. Bolling who was an early researcher into superconducting properties of grey tin along about 1955 and 1956.  At one time there was talk of him being a candidate for a Nobel, but he was leapfrogged in research by some bigger names with better labs.  I believe that work got a Nobel in 1972.  An interesting metal.

        It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

        by Otteray Scribe on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:29:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pt group is found more in South Africa (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coigue, dsteffen, rb137, Otteray Scribe

        Pt & Pd are found in the DR Congo but not so much in the conflict area. A major extension of the Congo's copper belt was discovered. Copper is a major export of the Congo.

        "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:34:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was just about to (3+ / 0-)

          respond to your other comment (and thanks for that UN report link).

          What I'm researching right now is the likelihood that Pd, Cu, or Ni will become conflict minerals. There are some reports that say unequivolcally yes. But you've noticed the reason why it's unclear. The Pt-group mines are listed in southwestern DRC.

          We can get Pt, Pd, Cu, and Ni from mines all over the world, though. We'll see. And thanks again!

          ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

          by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:38:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm a geochemist so I remember a lot of stuff (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coigue, dsteffen, rb137, Otteray Scribe

            but I can't keep track of it all so I use google carefully to verify my recollections. I learn a lot that way.

            The key to peace will be certification of sources in the Congo, not stopping mining. The people of the Congo have been robbed blind by the rest of the world. Unfortunately, now they are robbing from each other too.

            "It's the planet, stupid."

            by FishOutofWater on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:43:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's right. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Otteray Scribe

              I didn't state that clearly enough -- it's embedded in the links, though. I'll probably go back and clarify in the text tomorrow.

              The Senate has made some policy progress about this, actually. I'll be interested in seeing how it all pans out.

              ...There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

              by rb137 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:52:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I Support you. (6+ / 0-)

    I know little of the application of these metals, but from a mining perspective they are hugely water intensive and thus are a complicated matter environmentally wherever they are found, there may be more gold in northern Nevada than So. Africa, but there is not enough water to support the necessary mining operations, and where there are, the run-off is wrought with danger.  But nothing like handing money to murderers.  Good luck.

    Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't watching you.

    by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:09:46 PM PDT

  •  Great diary and important topic. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, boatsie, rb137, Otteray Scribe

    The purchasers in the marketplace have the power to shape what is produced or extracted and how it's done through principled, concerted action.  It's a power that is grossly under-utilized, and probably will continue to be without government intervention. The "market" will not get us to where we need to be on issues like this.

    People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages. --C. Wright Mills

    by dsteffen on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:23:00 PM PDT

  •  A great and important diary (4+ / 0-)

    I've learned a great deal reading this, and admire immensely the erudition and work that went into writing this.

    This should be on top of rec list!

    War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

    by Valtin on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:13:29 PM PDT

  •  this just knocked my socks off nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb137, Otteray Scribe

    "Imagine better than the best you know." Neville Goddard.

    by boatsie on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 10:02:12 PM PDT

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