Apple launches investigation in wake of bad mineral mining accusations
12th Jul 2013 | 19:35
Friends of the Earth on the attack
Apple has launched an investigation over allegations that tin mining operations in Indonesia are destroying the country's environments and communities.
Tin mines there are used for production of Apple's iPhones, iPads and other products, but it comes at a heavy cost, according to environmental activists Friends of the Earth.
The group claims Apple's mining is "destroying tropical forests, killing coral and wrecking the lives of communities in Indonesia," and that in 2011 an average of one miner a week died due to dangerous conditions.
Apple recently updated its Supplier Responsibility page with a claim that it's led "a fact-finding visit" to the Indonesian island of Bangka.
Ecowarriors to the rescue
"Recent concerns about the illegal mining of tin from this region prompted Apple to lead a fact-finding visit to learn more," the company's site reads.
"Using the information we've gathered, Apple initiated an [Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition] 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."
Friends of the Earth alerted Apple to the alleged harms caused by tin mining in Indonesia months ago and its "ecowarriors" have been campaigning at Apple Stores and writing letters to Apple executives.
It seems Apple finally took notice, but those concerned can still use Friends of the Earth's custom contact form to ask the company to take further action.
The group also claims that Samsung has already acknowledged getting tin from the same sources.
- This isn't the first time the iPhone maker has experienced controversy surrounding its suppliers and manufacturers.