NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As a leading member of the U.S. Jewelry industry, we are writing to
express our support for Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the corresponding Securities and
Exchange Commission’s Conflict Minerals Rule. We do believe that the due
diligence and traceability measures required by Section 1502 are an
essential component to breaking the links between conflict and the
minerals trade in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This legislation
has helped strengthen our own responsible supply chain management
practices. The major jewelry industry association, The Responsible
Jewellery Council, has modeled conflict minerals guidance from this
precedent. We further acknowledge that this provision has led to the
development of several important private sector schemes that promote and
facilitate responsible sourcing from the region, including one that we
are actively a participant.
Since the implementation of the regulation in 2013, we believe there has
been much progress both on the ground in Congo and globally. The most
recent study conducted by the International Peace Information Service
(IPIS) found that 79% of tin, tantalum, and tungsten miners surveyed now
work in conflict-free mines; 204 mines have been officially certified as
conflict-free; 75% of smelters/refiners worldwide, for the four conflict
minerals, have passed audits by the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative or
At a minimum, Section 1502 has proven to be an important and effective
first step in the effort to create a conflict-free mining industry in
Congo that benefits legitimate business rather than extortion and
violence. There is more work be done to address remaining challenges
including providing livelihood support to mining communities. As leaders
in one of the industries which has been most acutely impacted by the
Section 1502 reporting requirements, we believe solutions to these
remaining challenges will only be developed through the implementation
of additional complementary measures by public/private collaboration,
not through weakening or repealing a process that has already been set
in motion and is just beginning to affect meaningful change.
We, therefore, fully support the continued implementation of Section
1502. We have organized our efforts for full compliance because the
cause is worthy of these efforts. We encourage our peers within the
jewelry industry to uphold this responsible sourcing mandate and we will
continue our work to promote transparent, efficient, and responsible
mineral supply chains from the Great Lakes region of Africa.
About Richline Group, Inc.
Richline Group, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway
Inc. Currently the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are
LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Brands. Berkshire
Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities
including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy,
finance, manufacturing, retailing and services.
Richline Group, Inc.
Mark Hanna, 212-886-6212