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Anorak | There’s Blood In Your Mobile Phone, And Death

There’s Blood In Your Mobile Phone, And Death

by | 11th, October 2011

WE’VE another handwringing documentary coming to screens near us this month. Blood in Your Mobile is all about the appalling mining conditions in Congo

Umm, but hang on, haven’t we already had this? The stuff about coltan, the stuff that makes the tantalum which makes the capacitors in our phones? Why, yes, we have in fact already had this. And in fact there’s been a change in the law: makers of electronics, under the Frank Dodd rules, have to certify that their electronics, the 4 capacitors in them, didn’t come from minerals from conflict areas.

And the processors (of which there are only a handful) have been refusing to buy this “blood coltan” for several years anyway. So, given that we’ve solved that problem, what’s this one about then?

Ah, well, you see there’s another mineral, cassiterite, which is also mined there. Cassiterite is what we use to make tin: it’s what we used to dig up all over Cornwall. So, tin is used to make solder which is used to make electronics so there’s still blood in your mobile.

Except, of course, the ban on conflict minerals extends to tin as

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Posted: 11th, October 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink