Development International has released its annual survey of conflict minerals reports for the 2016 reporting period which were filed in 2017. Despite the SEC’s no action position which relaxed conflict minerals reporting obligations, many issuers continued to file conflicts minerals reports in accordance with previous SEC guidance. The survey notes the following:
- 1,153 issuers filed a conflict mineral disclosure (CMD) describing their due diligence on conflict minerals in their supply chains. The survey noted an overall 5.6% drop in companies filing a CMD vis-à-vis reporting year 2015.
- 125 issuers did not file a 2016 Conflict Mineral Report (CMR), which had done so for the previous year. 30 of these 125 former CMR filers did submit a Form SD, whereas 95 did not file anything for RY2016.
- 16 companies opted to undertake an independent private sector audit (IPSA) for 2016, representing three fewer companies than in 2015 (one of which, however, was acquired in 2016 and no longer subject to SEC filings). Eight companies specified their product(s) was/were DRC conflict free without having undertaken an IPSA. Four companies had an IPSA performed but did not make a DRC Conflict Free claim.
- Issuers continued to report implausible countries of origins for conflict minerals. For instance, 113 filers reported Hong Kong or Singapore as likely counties of origin of conflict minerals in their supply chains.