Perhaps the most impressive thing that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced at CES, the giant tech show in Las Vegas, this week, had nothing to do with new gadgets.
Rather, it was the fact that in 2014, Intel will no longer use any tungsten, tantalum, tin, or gold from Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo, in its products. “Every Intel micro-processor we manufacture in 2014 will be conflict-free,” he said.
The four minerals are essential to any computer or electronic game. They are supplied by mines and smelters in the Congo under the control of war lords who have used them to fuel “the world’s bloodiest conflict since World War II,” Krzanich said.
The effort to rid Intel’s supply chain of “conflict minerals” has taken four years, and was achieved by working with Enough!, a non-profit human rights group.
“We are inviting the entire industry to join us in this,” Krzanich said.
He got a huge round of applause.