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Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3
COMPLIMENTARY

Nov 2023 | November 2023 | 0 comments

Behind the Screen: The Complex Journey of Cell Phone Materials

November 2023 | 0 comments

November 2023

In an age where technology is seamlessly integrated into every facet of our lives, cell phones stand out as indispensable companions. However, the intricate components that make up these devices are sourced from across the globe, with a supply chain that raises serious ethical and environmental questions.
Cell phones rely on a plethora of materials, including gold, copper, tantalum, and rare earth elements. The journey from raw ore to polished device is a long one, fraught with complexity. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example, is a major supplier of tantalum, a metal essential for creating capacitors. Mining conditions here are often perilous, with child labor and unsafe working environments being all too common. The profits from these mines have been linked to funding ongoing armed conflicts in the region.
These issues extend beyond the borders of the DRC. The environmental impact of mining is profound, leading to habitat destruction, water pollution, and deforestation. In China, which dominates the global production of rare earth elements, mining practices have led to severe environmental degradation, affecting both local communities and ecosystems.
In response to these challenges, the tech industry has initiated certification programs aimed at ensuring responsible sourcing. Companies are investing in recycling initiatives and exploring innovations in material science to find sustainable alternatives. However, the unique properties of materials like tantalum make them difficult to replace, posing a significant challenge to these efforts.
The complexity of the global supply chain adds another layer of difficulty, making transparency and accountability hard to achieve. Despite progress in certain areas, the industry’s dependence on regions like the DRC remains a point of contention, highlighting the need for continued vigilance and action.
Consumers, armed with knowledge, have the power to influence the industry. By demanding transparency and ethical practices, they can drive change and contribute to the push for responsible sourcing. Governments and regulatory bodies also play a critical role, enforcing standards and regulations to ensure accountability across the supply chain.
As the global appetite for cell phones shows no signs of waning, the stark realities of their production become increasingly impossible to ignore. The ethical and environmental issues embedded in the supply chain, from the perilous mining conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the environmental degradation in mining regions worldwide, persist as daunting challenges. The industry’s slow progress and the continued dependency on conflict-ridden regions underscore a complex problem that lacks easy solutions. With transparency and accountability still falling short, the onus falls on every link in the supply chain, from manufacturers to consumers, to confront the inconvenient truths behind our digital age.
– Jeremy Webb

Bullhead City Senior Campus March Activities

The Bullhead City Senior Campus provides a wide variety of activities for active adults 50 years of age and older. The Senior Campus is located at 2275 Trane Road between Bullhead City Hall and Ken Forvargue Park. Visitors will meet new friends and share in an assortment of fun activities by attending the events found below. Continental breakfast is available from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. for just $2. For those not interested in breakfast, coffee, tea, or juice may be purchased separately during the same time for only $1. A congregate lunch is available to those 60-plus years old from 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. daily with a suggested donation of $3.

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Crown Equipment Corp. announces plans for new facility in Kingman

Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s largest material handling companies, has announced plans to establish a new multi-use facility in Kingman, Arizona. This strategic expansion is designed to bring key operations closer to Crown customers, supporting retail operations and authorized dealers throughout the United States.

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