The recent announcement of the release of Apple’s iPhone 4s has caused a great deal of attention in the media. One thing the media has overlooked it the use of coltan, one of the key minerals used in the iPhone’s circuit board.
Coltan, which is mined in the war ravaged country of the Congo, is considered my many to be a “blood mineral,” similar to the blood diamonds that cause thousands of deaths in Africa.
It is also what Adam Hochschild has described as one of four main reasons for ongoing deadly violence in the Congo. So much violence in fact, that it has been coined the ‘blood mineral’ – joining the ranks of the ‘blood diamond.’ In addition to the violence, working conditions in the mines can be also be deadly. We’re not here to preach, but it’s always good to be reminded of the price others pay for our technologies.