Conflict Minerals and Payments to Governments: SEC Extends Time Period for Comments on Proposed Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") has extended the time period for comments on proposed rules issued pursuant to Section 1502 (conflict minerals) and Section 1504 (disclosure of payments to governments) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The proposed rules are now open for comment until March 2, 2011.

The extension applies to rules proposed pursuant to:

  • Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires companies that utilize certain conflict minerals to conduct and disclose due diligence on their supply chains in order to identify whether the sourcing of these minerals is supporting the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and
  • Section 1504, which lays out transparency provisions requiring oil, gas, mining, and other extractive industry companies to report their payments to governments to the SEC.

As stated by the SEC in the notices of extension (.pdf),

The nature of the proposed disclosure requirements differs from the disclosure traditionally required by the Exchange Act…The Commission believes that providing the public additional time to consider thoroughly the matters addressed by the release and to submit comprehensive responses to the release would benefit the Commission in its consideration of final rules. 

Many companies and industry groups had requested an extension of the comment period because of the new and complex issues raised by the proposed disclosure provisions.

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