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United States Confronts the Hard Reality of Cobalt in Battery Metal Pursuit

New U.S. <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="">Strategy</a> for Securing Battery Metals for EVs

U.S. Turning to Artisanal Mining in Congo for Battery Metals

The U.S. is adopting an unconventional approach to secure supplies of battery metals for electric vehicles (EVs). In an effort to meet the growing demand for EVs, the U.S. is focusing on from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) informal mining sector. The DRC currently supplies around 70% of the ’s cobalt, a key metal used in lithium-ion batteries, with a significant amount coming from artisanal miners.

Key Takeaways:

  • The U.S. turns to cobalt from Congo’s informal mining sector to meet battery metal demand for EVs.
  • Congo supplies around 70% of the world’s cobalt, with a third of it coming from artisanal miners.
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development to companies supporting artisanal miners.
  • The Labor Department aims to improve working conditions and oversight in Congo’s mining sector.
  • dominates the battery metals sector, prompting efforts by other to secure their own supplies.

The U.S. government is taking steps to encourage companies to source critical minerals, including cobalt, from Congo’s artisanal miners. The U.S. Agency for International Development has announced a program offering grants to companies willing to support the integration of companies and artisanal miners into the global supply chain. Additionally, the Labor Department has committed funding to improve labor standards and provide protective equipment for miners.

The focus on artisanal in Congo comes as countries and companies try to reduce their reliance on China, which currently dominates the battery metals sector. China refines a significant portion of the world’s cobalt supply and produces most of the world’s lithium-ion batteries. By diversifying their supply chains and sourcing cobalt from Congo’s informal sector, the U.S. aims to reduce dependence on Chinese supplies.

While the U.S. government’s intervention could have a transformative impact on Congo’s artisanal mining sector, there are still concerns about security and governance in the Congolese mining sector. Some Western companies may be hesitant to engage with artisanal miners due to these concerns. Efforts to formalize Congo’s artisanal cobalt sector in the past have failed to gain traction.

In conclusion, the U.S. is exploring unconventional avenues to secure battery metals for EVs. By turning to cobalt from Congo’s artisanal miners, the U.S. hopes to reduce dependence on Chinese supplies and support the integration of local companies and miners into the global supply chain.

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