Gold and tungsten in our smartphones create big problems for the world

Smartphones do not cost 500 rubles, because they have a lot of value. A large variety of valuable materials used for the production of different electronic components. The supply of these materials is a difficult and dangerous task. The diamond industry or the market of any other valuable material is very cruel.

You’ve probably heard the expression “bloody diamonds”. The more people learned about the cruelty of the diamond market, the more refused to buy jewelry and other jewelry, not to be involved in all the horrors associated with diamond mining.

In smartphones do not use diamonds, but many other minerals that are essential for the production of electronic components, are not without ethical problems.

There are four minerals which is constantly causing conflicts: gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten. Typically, they are mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Minerals are very important for electronic devices and are found in all smartphones.

Tantalum is used for the production of capacitors. Tin is used for soldering and in displays OLED and LCD. Tungsten is used in wires and vibrator motor. Gold is needed to create contacts, connectors and cables.

Minerals mined huge number of people that don’t have special expensive equipment, and just trying to feed his family. At times, prey do 10-year-olds, and no one can protect the miners from more influential people who can take the territory under its control.

98 percent of mined gold is exported illegally from Congo. Tantalum is also not sold on any permanent market. It is governed only by the seller, which commits the transaction. All this does not suit manufacturers of smartphones, and they are actively trying to abandon the use of rare and expensive materials. Alas, this is not so simple, and now manufacturers are forced to check their supply on the rule of law.

Consumers may only support a ruble those companies that try to minimize the impact their products have on the environment. It is possible to allocate Fairphone. I want to believe that there will be other similar projects.

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