U.S.: Senate Passes Conflict Minerals Legislation

The Senate has passed legislation that expands Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reporting and public disclosure obligations for a wide range of companies using certain “conflict minerals” and their derivatives. On May 18, 2010, the Senate amended its version of financial reform legislation with a provision, introduced by Senator Brownback (R- KS), that would require annual disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, gold, and wolframite originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) or adjoining countries. The Senate passed the underlying financial reform legislation, H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, on May 20, 2010. The House has already passed its version of H.R. 4173, which did not contain any conflict minerals provisions. A House-Senate conference committee will work to reconcile the two versions of the bill in the coming weeks. It seems likely that some version of the conflict minerals provision in the Senate bill will be included in the legislation delivered to the President.


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