IBM, others report North Korea gold in their supply lines

|By:, SA News Editor

Dozens of companies, including IBM and H-P (HPQ), found an unwelcome surprise in their supply chains in their search for "conflict minerals," part of the Dodd-Frank Act designed ferret out any connection to mines controlled by armed groups in the Congo: Many of their products contain North Korean gold.

IBM, for example, disclosed that the North Korean gold was used to make its memory storage systems.

North Korea’s central bank provides currency for the country and refines gold, but U.S. sanctions law bars importing materials from the country, even if it comes from deep within a supply chain.

"There is still a long way to go in understanding supply chains," says an attorney who deals with conflict mineral disclosures.

Other companies making the discovery included Ralph Lauren (RL), Rockwell Automation (ROK) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM).