The recent conflicts in the coltan mining Congo have greatly affected the company in numerous aspects (Smith, 2013). Coltan is Columbo-tantalite substance that is used in the production of the modern electronics including smartphones (Richard & Kathreen, 2014). This product is essential in the production of electric capacitors that are used in smartphones because of their capability to hold high electric charges (Cellular news, 2014).
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the largest world reserve of coltan, and its production has recently been affected by conflicts between DRC soldiers and M-23 militia rebel group (Smith, 2011). The M-23 militia consisted of Rwandese and Ugandan soldiers. This conflict evolved when the M-23 wanted to gain control over the coltan mining areas in DRC (Weebly, 2014). Though the mining of coltan is not large scale, it is mined by a group of men who dig huge craters in streambeds and scrap the dirt in order to get to coltan. The M-23 was involved in the smuggling of coltan from DRC to the neighboring nations. The neighboring countries such as neighboring Rwanda were accused of selling smuggled coltan though there is no coltan available in the country (Smith, 2011).
This conflict in the late 2011 caused a decrease in the supply of coltan and an increase in the prices of coltan. Though there are other nations that produce coltan, DRC is the second largest producer and reserve of coltan after Australia (Marlow & Akkad, 2011). The decreased supply of coltan resulted to increased prices that increased the production costs of Apple Inc. by 20% (Weebly, 2014). However, continued conflicts in the area may result to increasing costs of production and may also affect the production level of the company. Additionally, reports by the United Nations indicate that there is a need to institute regulations to limit the production of coltan from conflict-prone areas in order to ...Show more