SEAL BEACH, Calif. A U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) rule requiring that publicly reporting
companies determine whether they use conflict minerals could
pose a challenge for service centers, chairman and chief
executive officer of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. David H.
Hannah told an Association of Women in the Metal
Industries chapter meeting that the requirement that companies
disclose involvement with so-called conflict minerals in
documents filed with the SEC is ridiculous.
The regulations came out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In a rule adopted last
August, the SEC requires publicly reporting companies to
establish if minerals in their products are sourced from the
Democratic Republic of the Congo or adjoining countries (
amm.com, Aug. 23
). If so, the companies must make
a reasonable effort to determine whether the
purchase of these minerals is funding armed groups in the
country. The legislation applies to tin, tantalum, gold, and
Hannah noted that the reporting requirement kicks in 2014 for
business conducted in 2013. Why it got into the rules, I
dont know, said Hannah, who argued that this issue
has no business being with the SEC.
While producers and consumers of specialty metals and
electronic device manufacturers have been seen as most
vulnerable to the regulation, industry observers noted that
that publically held companies such as Reliance which
distribute a broad range of products may also be affected.
Reliances team overseeing the conflict minerals issue
includes Tricia Emmerman, associate general counsel, and David
Sargent, manager of supplier relations for aluminum and
stainless products. Hannah noted the two will participate in a
telephone conference about these new rules held by the Metals
Service Center Institute (MSCI).
An MSCI spokesman in Rolling Meadows, Ill. said the conference
and webinar for MSCI members is slated on Feb. 18.
Business groups are challenging the regulation in the courts.
In October, the National Association of Manufactures and the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce claimed that the rule is
burdensome and asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia Circuit to set aside the regulation,
at least in part.
Hannah, noting court challenges to the SEC regulation, said,
Id like to think it will be overturned. On
the other hand, he acknowledged, Were not counting