Smartphones do not cost 500 rubles, because they have a lot of valuable. A large number of various valuable materials are used for the production of various electronic components. The supply of these materials is a complex and dangerous task. The diamond industry or the market of any other valuable material is very cruel.
Surely you have heard the expression “blood diamonds”. The more people learned about the brutality in the diamond market, the more they refused to buy jewelry and other jewelry, so as not to be involved in all the horrors associated with mining diamonds.
Smartphones do not use diamonds, but many other minerals that are needed for production of electronic components are also supplied not without ethical problems.
There are four minerals that constantly cause conflicts: gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten. As a rule, they are mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Minerals are very important for electronic devices and are found in all smartphones.
Tantalum is used for the production of capacitors. Tin is used for soldering and in OLED and LCD displays. Tungsten is used in wires and vibration motors. Gold is needed to create contacts, connectors and wires.
Minerals are mined by a huge number of people who are not equipped with special expensive equipment, but only try to feed their family. At times, 10-year-olds are involved in mining, and no one can protect miners from more powerful people who can take territory under their control.
98 percent of the gold mined is exported from the Congo illegally. Tantalum is also not sold in any permanent market. The price for it is regulated only by the seller who makes the transaction. All this does not suit the manufacturers of smartphones, and they are actively trying to abandon the use of rare and expensive materials. Alas, this is not so easy to do, and now manufacturers are forced to check their supplies for legality.
Consumers can only support the ruble with those companies that try to minimize the impact of their products on the environment. You can highlight the Fairphone. I want to believe that other similar projects will appear.