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In this May 26, 2010 photo, a Pakistani miner shows peace of rock with emeralds embed in, at a mountaintop in Shamozai, once used by insurgents as a base in Pakistan.  A year after the Pakistani army ousted the militants from the Swat Valley, emerald miners again work in this mountaintop mine once used by insurgents as a base _ a sign of progress in a region struggling to recover from conflict. Mining _ for gems, marble, granite, chromite and coal _ is one of the only industries, save for smuggling, in many parts of the northwest. The United States is helping the industry as part of a $7.5 billion package to Pakistan that it hopes will create jobs, dry up support for extremism and stop militants from returning.(AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Trump will reportedly nix a law requiring disclosure of use of 'conflict minerals'


President Trump is reportedly planning an executive order that could shoot down a rule requiring companies to disclose whether they use "conflict minerals" in their products,  Reuters reported.

It is not clear when the order will be signed or what exactly the order will entail. 

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, among other things, required businesses to report whether they used minerals mined from war-ravaged African regions. 

The rule on conflict minerals was supported by human rights groups. Many hoped that requiring companies to disclose that they used tin, gold, tungsten or other minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of the Congo would cut off a key source of funding for armed groups in the region. 

While "conflict diamonds" initially brought the issue into the spotlight, smartphones require many precious metals that are mined in war-torn regions. The Washington Post chronicled the dangers of mining cobalt in the Congo.

Conflict minerals.jpg
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012, file photo, a Congolese miner sifts through ground rocks to separate out the cassiterite, the main ore that’s processed into tin, in the town of Nyabibwe, eastern Congo, a once bustling outpost fueled by artisanal cassiterite mining. A new report released Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, shows violent, armed groups still exert control over pick-and-shovel miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite years of efforts by local reformers, Western activists and multinational companies like Apple and Intel that use minerals from the region in their products. Conditions are better for miners in some areas, but armed groups still threaten the gold sector. (AP Photo/Marc Hofer, File)

But businesses argue the rules cost too much money to follow, since following a global supply chain can be very expensive. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission can't get rid of the rule without a law passed by Congress, but it can stop enforcing it. 

It was already scaled back in 2014, as courts ruled that publicly disclosing the origin of the minerals violated companies' freedom of speech. However, they still had to disclose the origin to the SEC.

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