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Today, there are more electric cars on the road than ever before — and most of them use lithium-ion battery packs that contain cobalt.
But with demand for lithium-ion batteries on the rise (both in the automotive and consumer electronics world) the price of raw Cobalt has grown by more than three times in just two years. Moreover, since much of the world’s Cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo — a part of the world that’s hardly politically stable — there’s always some concern that Cobalt supplies could be put under higher demand if something happens in the DRC.
On top of this all, there’s increasing scrutiny (rightly so) as to where cobalt comes from — and how it’s mined. Traditionally, unscrupulous mines have operated, employing women and children in conditions that are essentially slave labor.
This all seems to combine to form the perfect storm, where Cobalt supplies could dry up. Or will they? Some analysts think so, but we’re not so sure.
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