Apple announced that it believes most of its African minerals would be considered "conflict-free," it was reported today.
Apple had to report on its "conflict materials," otherwise known as tin, gold, tantalum and tungsten used to create iPhones and iPads, for a June 2 deadline and found that 21 smelters and refineries were in the Democratic Republic of Congo or near it -- where most of the conflict has occurred, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple reported that 17 of the 21 businesses were audited by third parties, and that the third party review said that it found no reason that the "smelters and refiners" fund militia groups. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant will continue to audit the companies.
The report had to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. Other tech companies who filed reports included Intel and Hewlett-Packard. Apple and Intel are attempting to keep trade in the DRC open, rather than shut down business in the war-torn region.
Apple said it surveyed more than 400 suppliers and found 205 smelters and refiners. After on-site visits, the businesses were required to comply with third-party investigations. If they didn't comply, Apple terminated their relationship.
Apple did give itself an out, however, by stating that it can't "conclusively determine the country of origin of conflict materials."