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Cobalt miner


Urgent action is needed to protect Congolese cobalt miners

IbyIMD+ Published 16 September 2021 in Sustainability • 7 min read • Audio availableAudio available

The mineral is a vital component of electric car batteries, but small-scale miners, including children, are working in harsh conditions. Alliances need to be forged in the supply chain to make cobalt is responsibly sourced.

Cobalt is an essential mineral used for batteries in electric cars and everyday electronics. With an increasing number of companies and governments pledging ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions and promoting electric vehicles, the demand for cobalt is expected to surge up to 30 times higher than its current levels by 2040. Most of this demand will be met by production in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where over two thirds of the world’s cobalt is produced, and more than half of the world’s cobalt resources are located. Whether a battery manufacturer or a buyer of electric vehicles, environmentally aware businesses cannot avoid Congolese cobalt, or the human rights challenges linked to it.

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