Cobalt mining in Africa

Cobalt mining in Africa

Jack Ryan

What is the deal with the element Cobalt, unimportant to most of us?

Who cares about it, it’s just a fancy metal. But in fact it’s very important. Cobalt is an important part of batteries which if you’ve been living in a cave or super future home they’re very important. Almost 50% of all mined cobalt is made into batteries. Now you’re either thinking, huh learn something new everyday or where does it come from.

The largest cobalt reserve in the world is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC for short).It’s located in the middle of the lower half of Africa, and according to its GDP it ranks as the poorest country in the world. So what is the problem with this you ask yourself. Well if you were a very poor country and you were sitting on the largest reserve of a very valuable metal that the western world really needs what would you do.

No the main problem isn’t them blackmailing or using it against us. It’s actually kinda the opposite they are using child labor and the most ridicules make-shift mines to get it. The miners or “creuseurs” go under 70 feet in a make-shift mine with a nice head lamp and their two hands. The cobalt they pull out is in your phone, laptops, electric cars, rechargeable batteries, and normal batteries. It’s like the gold rush and industrial revolution mixed in the DRC.

On the bright side Apple stopped buying from make-shift mines and started buying from regulated cobalt mines because of these safety issues. Another look at the bright side is the fact that the Congo is teaming up with a Chinese mining partner called Congo Dongfang International Mine(CDM) to create its first safe mine.