The Conflict Minerals Rule: Important Recent Developments

Reporting companies required to file Specialized Disclosure Reports on Form SD (Form SD) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and any necessary conflict minerals reports for 2013 under the SEC’s conflict minerals rule are working to meet the June 2, 2014 filing deadline for those reports. Those companies will be interested in three recent developments regarding the Rule:the long-awaited ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that upheld the Rule’s requirements, with one exception;a statement by the Director (Director) of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance (CorpFin) in response to the court’s ruling that provides guidance regarding the effect of the ruling (Statement); andthe issuance, prior to the court’s ruling, by the CorpFin staff (Staff) of interpretive guidance in the form of frequently asked questions on certain aspects of the Rule - in particular, the nature of the Rule’s requirement that conflict minerals reports be the subject of an independent private sector audit (IPSA).

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