Given the murky supply chains involved, is it possible to get a mobile phone that is conflict free?
The slick exterior of your smartphone gives few clues to the chaotic supply chains that make up its innards. Some 30 to 40 minerals make it tick, including tantalum, derived from the ore coltan, typically from Congolese mines. As the 2010 documentary Blood in the Mobile lays plain, our phones are inextricably linked to war in the DRC.
Our fate as bad consumers seemed sealed in 1997, when mining corporation America Mineral Fields signed an agreement with the Liberation of Congo Defence League to supply funds – which were ultimately used to buy weapons – in return for future mining rights. The rest, as they say, is history.
Source: Guardian Environment