Apple Investigating Illegally Mined Tin Claims
There are currently concerns over an illegal mining operation of tin in Indonesia, and Apple has updated its “Supplier Responsibility” page to note that it is investigating the issue along with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). Below is the new section from Apple’s page describing its action in Indonesia.
Bangka Island, Indonesia, is one of the world’s principal tin-producing regions. Recent concerns about the illegal mining of tin from this region prompted Apple to lead a fact-finding visit to learn more. Using the information we’ve gathered, Apple initiated an EICC working group focused on this issue, and we are helping to fund a new study on mining in the region so we can better understand the situation.
Among Apple’s suppliers, 249 use tin in the components they provide to the company, and 64 EICC-certified tin smelters have been identified. Apple is also tracking sourcing of tungsten, tantalum and gold.
In recent years, Apple has stepped up its examinations of suppliers, issuing yearly Supplier Responsibility Reports and in 2013 fired one of its Chinese suppliers for child labor violations.
Friends of the Earth has been calling for Apple to come clean on whether or not it uses tin from the Bangka area for a long time, amassing over 24,000 signatures on its campaign. The activists say that the tin has been “linked to the destruction of tropical forests, coral reefs and fishermen’s livelihoods.”