Preventing child labor use for cobalt mining

An article in Fortune (September 1, 2018) titled “Blood, Sweat and Batteries” describes artisanal mining by over 10,000 children using hand tools in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the source of 67% of the world supply of cobalt. With prices of cobalt rising 400% between 2016 and 2018 due to electric vehicle battery needs of 18 lbs of cobalt per battery, and demand expected to triple by 2025, the demand in the DRC is soaring. Given it’s poverty level, cobalt mining attracts children who can make $9 a day, far better than alternatives to help their families. Should end product OEMs, the makers of smartphones and electric vehicles, be held responsible for solving this problem? Or is the solution to build batteries that use much less to no cobalt? Should OEMs be responsible to train children for alternate occupations and thus prevent them from mining?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Africa, Capacity, cobalt, consumer, Cost, Global Contexts, mining, Prices and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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