SEC Bares Agenda, Panelists for Roundtable on Conflict Minerals

Sarah Woodman, Global events journalist
October 14, 2011 /

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the agenda and panelists for a public roundtable on the agency’s required rulemaking under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which relates to reporting requirements regarding conflict minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining countries.

The October 18 roundtable, announced last month, will feature two panels discussing key issues related to the SEC’s required rulemaking, including what is covered by the rule, what steps will be required to comply with the rule, and reporting under the rule.

Panel One, which will tackle what is covered by the rule and what steps will be required to comply with the rule, consists of Susan Baker, Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst, ESG Research and Shareholder Advocacy, Trillium Asset Management; David Bouffard, Vice President, Public Relations, Sterling Jewelers Inc.; Mike Davis, Campaign Leader for Conflict Resources, Global Witness; Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy, Calvert Investments; Andrew Matheson, President, Boston Silicon Materials LLC; Sandy Merber, Counsel, International Trade Regulation and Sourcing, General Electric Company; Yedwa Zandile Simelane, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti Limited; and Irma Villarreal, Chief Securities Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary, Kraft Foods Inc.

Panel Two, which will discuss what steps will be required to comply with the rule (continued) and reporting, includes Benedict S. Cohen, Chief Counsel, Litigation, The Boeing Company; Lauren Compere, Managing Director and the Director of Shareholder Engagement, Boston Common Asset Management, LLC; Darren Fenwick, Senior Manager of Government Affairs, Enough Project; Lawrence M. Heim, Director, Elm Consulting Group International LLC; Tim Mohin, Director of Global Corporate Responsibility, Advanced Micro Devices Inc.; Kay Nimmo, Manager, Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs, ITRI, Ltd.; Jennifer Prisco, Legal Counsel, Global Supply Chain, Tyco Electronics Corporation; Michael Riess, Director, Materials Management Corporation; and Darrel Schubert, Partner, National Office, Ernst & Young LLP / Chair, Auditing Standards Board, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the SEC’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, with public seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The event also can be viewed by live webcast, and will be archived on the website for later viewing.

The SEC staff welcomes feedback on the topics that are discussed at the roundtable. The information that is submitted will become part of the public record of the roundtable. Submissions to the SEC can be made electronically by using the Internet submission form or sending an e-mail to

Paper comments can be sent in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number S7-40-10. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. The public is advised to use only one method to help process and review submissions more efficiently.

The SEC is posting all comments on the SEC website. All submissions received will be posted without change. The agency does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. Only submit information intended to be available publicly.


1 Comment for “SEC Bares Agenda, Panelists for Roundtable on Conflict Minerals”

  1. Look at the names, tittles, and origins of all the names on this list to see how flawed the entire 1502 regulation is. While we all sit in our comfortable high-backed chairs in Washington pontificating back and forth in our great wisdom, 7,500 miles away people are dying right now because of Dodd-Frank. We don’t even include them in the conversation. Have we not learned anything in four hundred years of colonialism and imperialism?

    Our Congo-based company works with Congolese tribes to help them export without a dime going to conflict groups. Dodd-Frank has been disastrous for them.

    I challenge the supporters to take a poll of those they are supposedly trying to protect. The response would tell them that, while Dodd-Frank was well-meaning, it is an unmitigated disaster in practice. COCABI, COMIMPA and COMIDER represent 20,000 miners in the conflict area. They all say they’ve never even been contacted.

    While all the NGOs and politicians are quoting each other’s support of this, we are quoting chiefs and tribes who are actually being affected by it, all of whom say it has been disastrous for them and their livelihood. Doesn’t this say something very powerful to us?

    Also, there are six regions from which Dodd-Frank minerals are mined, and only one of them has ever had anything to do with conflict. Dodd-Frank has put them all out of business before it is even enacted. The World Bank says it has negatively affected 10 million Congolese. If all Congo minerals came from criminals, then Dodd-Frank would make sense. But the fact is that probably 1-3% of the affected minerals come from criminals, the rest are from honest, hard-working chiefs and their tribes, all of whom have lost their only source of income in the second poorest country on earth.

    I was in Tanzania a few weeks ago to help a chief export his coltan using a visible, well-documented process that ensures not a dime goes to conflict. His people will go hungry because the smelters, citing Dodd-Frank, have vanished. The chief is devastated, as are the millions who find their meager livelihoods destroyed by this over-reaching act.

    The issue with Dodd-Frank is that it is a nuclear option that demonizes minerals instead of criminals. It’s no different than burning down every house in town to stop a burglar from stealing, who will simply steal from somewhere else. Ludicrous.

    Dodd-Frank has burned down the entire mining industry in the Congo in hopes that their scorched earth policy will catch a militia group in its path. They are willing to take down every innocent man, woman, and child who live off mining. Such massive collateral damage is not acceptable under any circumstance.

    Remove mining from the equation and the militia will exact its pound of flesh from the locals by other means. This should be handled by targeting militias, not mining. Dodd-Frank takes the route of universal collateral damage, which, before the bill is enacted, has already destroyed the livelihoods of the innocents who depend on it.

    As Eric Kajemba, the leader of a civil-society group has said, “If the advocacy groups aren’t speaking for the people of eastern Congo, whom are they speaking for?”

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