Aehr recognizes the potential of the production of minerals to bolster development and sustain livelihoods by generating income, growth and prosperity. However, under certain circumstances mining and trade of minerals may support conflict, and there is a risk of contributing to adverse impacts, including serious human rights abuses.
Aehr condemns all activities in the raw material sector connected to illegal or unlawful exploitation of minerals and ores. As such, the company fully supports the goals of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to avoid the use of raw materials which directly or indirectly finance, or benefit armed groups in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Aehr takes an active role in industry forums to promote responsible sourcing of minerals, including the ones from conflict areas.
In August 2012, in response to violations of human rights related to mining of certain minerals from the conflict region in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the Final Conflict Minerals Rule under the Dodd-Frank Act, to implement reporting and disclosure requirements related to conflict minerals. The SEC defines cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, gold, wolframite, or their derivatives as conflict minerals regardless of whether or not their production or trade has actually supported conflict. Aehr supports its customers to comply with current legislation and undertakes its best efforts to provide “DRC conflict-free” products and adequate documentation to facilitate reporting under the SEC Rule. All Aehr suppliers must abide to the Aehr’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which includes requirements for a transparent and conflict-free supply chain.