American technology companies are facing a shortage of “ethically sourced cobalt,” a metal critical to products like electric vehicles and solar panels, and demand for cobalt is rising:
Major manufacturers like Tesla and General Electric are facing a severe shortage of ethically sourced cobalt, and the metal is expected to increase in demand by 500%, says OilPrice.com.
Most of the world’s cobalt comes from the Congo, where it is often mined by children. As Sky News reports:
With little regulation requiring companies to trace their cobalt supply lines, and most of the world’s cobalt coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the chances are your smartphone contains a battery with cobalt mined by children in the central African nation.