How Cobalt Goes from Congo to the World


Mobile phones are one of the most popular personal devices on Earth. With the demand for lithium skyrocketing along with the ubiquity of the handphone, the mining of toxic rare metals used in the manufacture of lithium handphone batteries is rapidly increasing too. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the main suppliers of cobalt to the world’s manufacturers of lithium batteries. We’ve traced the global supply chain of cobalt production in this infographic.

  1. Cobalt is exported from the Democratic Republic of Congo artisanal mines to China for processing. More than half of the world’s cobalt supply comes from this region
  2. Processed cobalt is supplied to factories in Asia to make rechargeable batteries
  3. Batteries  are supplied to global technology and car companies

For all things mobile, check out the rest of this article in our upcoming special issue on the Mobile Phone (Asian Geographic No.135 Issue 2/2019 ) or you can also check out our past issues here or download a digital copy here


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