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(16,829 posts)
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 11:07 AM Feb 2023

Your Phone Runs On Cobalt From DR Congo


The chances of your phone's battery being made using cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are, as Statista's Martin Armstrong notes in this chart using data cited in Statista's DossierPlus 'Mining Industry in Africa' shows, very high.

The country, ranked 166 out of 180 countries on Transparency International's 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (with a score of just 20 out of a possible 100), and with an estimated one million people living in modern slavery as of 2018, also happens to be the world's largest producer of the metal key to lithium-ion battery production.

The use of child labor in the mining of cobalt in DRC is well documented, with the U.S. Department of Labor estimating that 40,000 children, some as young as 6 years old, work in the mines there.


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(7,286 posts)
1. There's a new book coming out about that
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 11:15 AM
Feb 2023

It might be out now. For the life of me I can’t recall the title


(25,907 posts)
2. Unsurprisingly, Russia is gaining a foothold in that region
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 11:22 AM
Feb 2023

Gotta control the natural resources everyone else needs, yunno.


(86,307 posts)
3. And just in time...
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 11:52 AM
Feb 2023

A large cobalt mine next to a major wilderness area is firing up again in Idaho.

Telepathy should be explored for the most economic effect.


(38,301 posts)
4. Don't even ask about your electric car...
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 03:56 PM
Feb 2023

The sad thing about humans is that the evil among us are always thinking up new ways to enslave others and destroy the natural environment for profit.

Whenever you buy anything you have to think about where it came from and what's going to happen to it once it's no longer useful to you.


(16,829 posts)
5. With a lot of the electronics, its not like the consumer has a lot of choices.
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 04:12 PM
Feb 2023

It's pretty had to give up your smartphone. My job depends on it.

There is a Dutch alternative called "Fairphone", but its not available in the US.



(35,270 posts)
7. Choices get locked in.
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 07:50 PM
Feb 2023

If 10 years ago most people said, "No, don't need the extra screen or the problems that go with it" it wouldn't be reasonable for your employer to require that you have one.

Instead, you'd have a Blackberry v9.2.


(38,301 posts)
9. I've had four personal cell phones since the beginning of the cell phone revolution.
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 08:23 PM
Feb 2023

Two were made obsolete by my cell phone providers, 2G and 3G no longer supported. The third phone was lost or stolen, I'm not quite sure which since someone answered but hung up on me when I called it, and my wife got a call from it too.

My fourth phone is a flip phone like all the others, like a Star Trek Communicator! That's the only reason I find cell phone tolerable.

That's four phones in about twenty years. Not too bad.

My wife has a personal smart phone and a required work smart phone that sometimes wakes us up in the middle of the night.

The last time I myself carried a work cell phone they were the size of lunch boxes.


I was young, I thought that was so cool! They needed me! I didn't see it as a leash, albeit one I could hand off to the next guy when my call ended.

I'm not sure I'd ever be happy with a mandatory work required smart phone, but you do what you gotta do.


(16,829 posts)
10. Workplaces used to provide you with a phone.
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 09:29 PM
Feb 2023

Now they expect you to have a phone with apps that can be used for a secure login. Multi-factor authentication, they call it.


(38,301 posts)
11. My wife's work phone is provided by her work.
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 09:52 PM
Feb 2023

It's locked down tight and pretty useless for any non-work related stuff.

She can call home on it, and 911 I presume, but internet stuff goes through the work proxies.


(35,270 posts)
6. There are cobalt-free and lower-nickel batteries for EV.
Sun Feb 5, 2023, 07:49 PM
Feb 2023

They're gaining market share.

Sadly, the DR Congo is still responsible for over 2/3 of the nickel needed for the lower-nickel batteries. So better, but not virtuous.

Can't find much information in the few minutes I've spend wandering the web to compare relative performance.

Tesla was one of the leaders early on in moving away from cobalt.

Here's a random link, there are many out there.


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