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SEC backs away from conflict minerals rule enforcement

Joe Mont | April 10, 2017

It remains to be seen whether recent developments will ease corporate confusion, or add to dilemmas. With little more than a month to go before this year’s conflict minerals disclosures, the Securities and Exchange Commission has thrown a curveball.

In response to a now-settled lawsuit, Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar, on April 7, announced an easing of the Commission’s enforcement posture regarding the rule while the Commission rethinks the regulation.

The conflict minerals rule, issued by the SEC in August 2012, requires companies to disclose information each calendar year on the source of tantalum, tin, gold, and tungsten used in their products. Those minerals are known to have funded violent conflict in the DRC and adjoining countries. Companies were required to conduct a “reasonable” country-of-origin inquiry to determine if the minerals...

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