Intel announced today that it will no longer rely on minerals sourced from war-torn regions to produce their processors. During the keynote, CEO Brian Krzanich stepped aside to present a video discussing the minerals needed to produce the chips in everyday technology and how they're obtained. The company paid special attention to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country whose bloody perpetual war, funded by the sale of diamonds and essential metals like tin and tungsten, has claimed millions of lives in the last 15 years. Intel ended the presentation on the difficult question of how to solve this industry-wide problem, and committed itself to trying to change course in a meaningful way.
"The solution isn't easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is."
Industry leaders like Intel have already taken steps to change the tech world's reliance on conflict minerals from central Africa. Back in 2012, a report by The Enough Project, a nonprofit anti-genocide organization, found that Intel, Apple, and HP were making the greatest strides toward eradicating the problem. HP tried to set a better example last year by publishing a list of 195 ore smelters around the world in an effort to convince their suppliers to avoid sourcing in conflict areas. It's clear that a shift is happening among hardware makers, so it's good to see Intel still pressing the issue.