Apple is investigating claims that tin used in its products comes from mines on Bangka Island in Thailand. This comes after environmental watchdog Friends of the Earth (FoE) pressured the tech giant to identify the source of the metal used for soldering components in iDevices. While the island region is one of the largest suppliers of tin in the world, mining conditions are far from ideal. Landslides consistently claim the lives of workers, and mining itself has had an adverse effect on the local environment. The group successfully pressured Samsung to admit its involvement with the area's tin supplies in April.
For its part, Apple commissioned a fact-finding visit to learn more and is helping to fund a new study on mining in the region so they "can better understand the situation." Or maybe they could save some time and money by reading the one conducted by The Guardian and FoE from last November. You know, the one that found that unregulated tin mining leans heavily on child labor, destroys the environment and causes on average 100 - 150 miner fatalities every year. Cupertino has already vowed to not use conflict minerals and appointed a former EPA administrator to focus on its environmental efforts, so it at least looks responsible. Now to see if it can back up its actions.