NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Supply anxieties and ethical concerns are clouding the otherwise seemingly sunny drive to automobile electrification. The world is already awash in mobile devices and is rapidly moving to enhanced electrical grids and electric vehicle (EV) ubiquity. However, the indispensable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery — vital for gadgets, grid storage and electric propulsion — also requires cobalt to retain and discharge electricity. Lithium is plentiful and easily mined; cobalt is the conundrum that has manufacturers of battery-dependent products most worried.
- EV sales projected to explode to 30 million units by 2030.
- Cobalt — critical for Li-ion batteries — is nearly single-sourced and ethically challenged.
- New North American supply chains look to provide solutions
Most of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC has an unstable and historically corrupt government and an exceptionally poor human rights record; additionally, much of the country’s cobalt is mined by hand, often by children. Economically precarious, cobalt is virtually single-sourced. Currently about two-thirds of the world supply and half of all global reserves come from the DRC. Moreover, two years after Amnesty International’s scathing expose that showed exploited children mining cobalt, child labor is still being used to procure the mineral at so-called artisanal mines. No other comparable commodity is so dominated by a single source, creating enormous potential risk for EV makers. The troubling aggregate of political corruption, supply uncertainty, operational complexity and ethical opacity has delivered a clarion call to EV makers and spurred a global quest for secure and humanely sourced cobalt resources. At the vanguard of this search is First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQX: FTSSF) (FTSSF Profile), a vertically integrated pure-play cobalt company with significant North American assets. Leveraging company assets and expertise in conjunction with the savvy of a legendary EV pioneer…
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