Black History: Special Delivery!!
Cobalt is a mineral utilized for lithium batteries in computers, electric cars, and cell phones. The demand for cobalt continues to rise. According to estimates by the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance, the demand for cobalt is expected to grow fourfold by 2030; mainly due to the electric vehicle boom. The demand for cobalt has tripled in the last several years.
Greater than 60% of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is often mined by impoverished men, women, and children for as little as $2 per day. Appalling human rights violations related to mining operations abound at artisanal mines in the DRC. Workers at these mines typically have no safety equipment. It is also well known that handling cobalt exposes workers to toxins that sicken workers and cause birth defects. DRC has experienced significant conflict and disruption. DRC has also faced the challenge of fighting Ebola and government corruption. Child labor, serious injuries, fatal accidents, violent conflict between miners and security personnel occur regularly.Continue reading “The Cobalt Crisis: How Innovation Is Fueling Injustice & Exploitation”