Apple Investigating Illegal Tin Mining Accusations

Following concerns that some of the tin used in its products may be coming from illegal mining operations in Indonesia, Apple has launched an investigation into the accusations and is working with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition to ensure miners are operating in safe working conditions.

Apple investigating working conditions at Indonesia tin minesApple investigating working conditions at Indonesia tin mines

Apple updated its Supplier Responsibility web page to state,

Bangka Island, Indonesia, is one of the world's principal tin-producing regions. Recent concerns about the illegal mining of tin from this region prompted Apple to lead a fact-finding visit to learn more. Using the information we've gathered, Apple initiated an EICC working group focused on this issue, and we are helping to fund a new study on mining in the region so we can better understand the situation.

Indonesia's tin mines have a reputation for unsafe working conditions and exploiting child labor. Laws are in place to prevent that, but in some cases mining operations choose to operate outside of the government's safety regulations.

Apple has already committed to using environmentally friendly methods for collecting the resources it needs to build Macs, iPhone, iPads, and other products, and has been actively working with its supplier partners to ensure safe working conditions, too. Its tin mining investigation is new, so there isn't any word yet on findings, but if Apple's previous efforts are any indication, it's a safe bet that it'll actively push for changes if any safety, environmental, health, or age issues are uncovered.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]