Conflict minerals

There are many aspects of materials in your phone, like where it comes from, what is it used for and many more. The 4 main minerals are called Conflict Minerals and these are Gold, Tungsten, Tantalum, and Tin. These materials are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cerro Rico, and Indonesia. These 4 conflict minerals made up about 0.18% of the phone and the non-conflict materials (Silicon, Gallium Iron, Copper, and Aluminum)  made up 17% of the phone making up the microchips, wiring and the main ingredients in the battery.  Tantalum is used to make the electrical capacitors in the phone.  The reason why Tantalum is used almost every time in the making of phones is that Tantalum has the tendency to form a protective layer for the electrical capacitors to make it less vulnerable to damage, which results in the capacitors lasting longer than the ones without tantalum. Electronics may seem not rich in the variety of items but once you look at it deeper you will know it has many aspects to it.

Using Conflict minerals may surprise you of how impactful they are on the human race. One of the problems of using the conflict minerals is ethicality. There is a severe ethicality issue using these materials because it violates human rights. A UNICEF reporter went to one of the mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo and found children working as young as 6 years of age. On top of that, to intimidate the population the armed groups who run the mine rape people, all to get conflict minerals for consumer needs.  The impact of using these “harmless minerals” is people getting sexually harassed and forcing little children to work long hours every day. Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten, and Gold, seem harmless but can cause enormous damage.

By recommending solutions to local places, we can make for a better future for others. We can ask our school to reuse computers in order to resolve the ethnicity problem about conflict minerals in conflict zones. One solution for our school is to change the demand for electronics each year. Instead of buying new computers each year, we could reuse the ones that haven’t been too damaged.  Many sources, like Tech Dump, also agree that we should recycle electronics. We could also not use electronics that are made out of conflict materials. This will help immensely because if we don’t buy Apple computers which contain 0.18 percent of electronics, we can reduce the hours that kids spend mining. Re-using electronics will help too because if we lower our demand for electronics, people wouldn’t have to mine for hours and we would lessen the possibility of death because people need electronics. Recommendations to local places about lessening the demand and need for electronics can make for a better future for kids and adults in conflict zones.




“Conflict Minerals Do You Know What’s in Your Supply Chain?” YouTube, YouTube, 20 Jan. 2017,
Merchant, Brian. “Were the Raw Materials in Your IPhone Mined by Children in Inhumane Conditions?” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2017,
“The Benefits of Computer Recycling.” Tech Dump, 31 July 2014,
DAYAH, MICHAEL. “Dynamic Periodic Table.” Dynamic Periodic Table,