Most of the focus on this provision, to date, has been on the ramifications for high tech companies such as Apple and Intel. But the provision goes beyond the minerals used in high tech equipment, such as cobalt, copper and tantalum. Gold is also on the list.
The Bill requires that manufacturers report where they purchased their minerals to ensure that they have not been purchased from "conflict zone" countries, which include Congo and neighboring countries.
The concept of conflict-free began with diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity. The idea being that the purchase of diamonds from such war zones should be illegal, ostensibly to stop the financing of the wars. It is believed by observers of the diamond industry, such as Edward J. Epstein, that DeBeers was behind the idea of conflict-free diamonds as a way to limit the supply of diamonds that come on the market. Nevertheless the concept took hold.
According to Wikipeida:
On July 19, 2000, the World Diamond Congress adopted at Antwerp a resolution to strengthen the diamond industry's ability to block sales of conflict diamonds. The resolution called for an international certification system on the export and import of diamonds, legislation in all countries to accept only officially sealed packages of diamonds, for countries to impose criminal charges on anyone trafficking in conflict diamonds, and instituted a ban on any individual found trading in conflict diamonds from the diamond bourses of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. The Kimberly Process was led by the diamond-producing African countries themselves.Got that? All diamonds are now certified under the "Kimberley Process" to prove that they are not from "conflict zones".
On January 17 - 18 of 2001, diamond industry figures convened and formed the new organization, the World Diamond Council. This new body set out to draft a new process, whereby all diamond rough could be certified as coming from a non-conflict source.
The KPCS was given approval by the UN on March 13, 2002,[and in November, after two years of negotiation between governments, diamond producers, and Non-Government organizations, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was created.
The Dodd-Frank Bill appears to "nudge" the gold industry towards a certification process. Couple this nudge with the requirement in the Healthcare Bill that gold dealers will be required to fill out 1099 forms on all customers who buy or sell more than $601 worth of gold coins, and it is clear that the noose is tightening around the gold industry. It will take some time, but don't be surprised to find that down the road a "Kimberley Process" will be created for gold and that all newly manufactured gold coins and gold bars will be stamped with a unique serial number.
Then the serious tracking of who owns how many gold coins will begin.