Conflict Minerals

What are conflict minerals? Why should we care?

Here is a quick overview:

Now, let's dig a bit deeper....

Listen: CBC Spark Conflict Minerals & Electronics  (Check out the Fairphone, would you use a device like this?)

Read this story: Minerals that Cause War


1. This is the deadliest conflict in the world since _____________

2. What is Tantalum used for?

3. What is Tungsten used for?

4. What is Tin used for?

5. What is gold used for in cell phones and laptops?

6. Why are these minerals difficult to trace?


Conflict Minerals are not just in electronics.
Read (click to view larger):

Read this story: The Price of Precious


Does any of this information make you think differently about how you may purchase electronics in the future?

What are some ways you can help to eliminate the reliance on conflict minerals for mobile device manufacturers?

How do you know if your device contains conflict minerals?


Pick 1 mobile device of your choosing.

Find a website that offers a teardown of your device. i.e.

Create a new page called "Conflict Minerals" on your website.

Show an image of the device teardown if you can find one.
Answer the following questions on your page and be prepared to share it with the class.

  • Identify what (if any) conflict minerals are used in the production of your device.

  • Identify each mineral and its source (where could it have been mined?) 

  • Identify what the going market value is for that mineral.

  • Outline the basic idea behind conflict minerals and how their production is harming the country where they are sourced. Describe how the purchase of electronic devices containing these minerals fuels the cycle of violence.

Please place completed assignment on your website portfolio by the start of the class on Wednesday.

In class viewing:

This film was chosen due to the detailed first hand look it offers into the present
day situation in the Congo

* warning: some language in this film might be offensive to some viewers, discretion
is advised. 

Movie Questions:

Complete the Movie Questions while watching the documentary

Secondary viewing: The Real Mobile Phone Wars

Jon Hamlin,
Oct 9, 2013, 10:31 PM