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Conflict Minerals Disclosure Stays While Unconstitutional Bathwater Goes

April 30, 2014

conflict mineralsYesterday, SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director Keith Higgins affirmed that, notwithstanding a recent court ruling striking down one specific provision of the Conflict Minerals disclosure rule (the provision requiring companies to disclose that any of their products are not “conflict-free”), the Commission will move forward with the implementation of the rule as a whole, less the “unconstitutional” obligation. View Corp Fin’s statement here.

Dynda Thomas of Squire Sanders neatly summarized Corp Fin’s expectations, including the expectation that companies file their first Form SD by June 2, 2014. View the summary here.  The key takeaway is that companies need not make statements assessing the “conflict-free” status (or lack thereof) of their materials.  Yet such disclosure was part of the first Form SD filed last week, by  Taiwan-based Siliconware Precision Industries Co., Ltd. (“SPIL”):

SPIL has determined in good faith that for calendar year 2013, its conflict minerals status resulting from its due diligence efforts shows a portion to be “DRC conflict undeterminable” and the remainder to be “DRC conflict free” (terms as defined in the 1934 Act).

This Report has not been subject to an independent private sector audit as allowed under Rule 13p-1, which provides a temporary accommodation for the first two years following November 13, 2012.

Celia Taylor, blogging for Race to the Bottom, noted the salient points of SPIL’s disclosure; view her blog post here.

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