According to that fantastic and highly reliable source Wikipedia:
Conflict minerals are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, mostly in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by the Congolese National Army, and various armed rebel groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), a proxy Rwandan militia group.Under Federal Law (including the Frank-Dodd Act ) any publicly traded company now has to prove to the SEC that neither it, nor any company in its supply chain uses conflict minerals in the production of its goods. The result is a massive database and reporting requirements. Every supplier must report on its suppliers.
This is exactly the kind of ridiculous reporting and effort companies must do to keep the ravenous bureaucracy fed. How many employees did the Federal Government have to hire to follow up with every company to make sure the reports are filed and correct? How many lawyers did we, as taxpayers, hire to prosecute businesses that do not file the proper paperwork? How much have we added to the cost of goods and services to hire a person at each company in the supply chain to file the reports with the Feds?