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m3n4.net September 22, 2018


Apple reportedly looking to buy cobalt directly from miners

22 February 2018, 12:56 | Antoinette Holland

Apple is one of the world’s largest end users of cobalt for the batteries in its gadgets

Apple is one of the world’s largest end users of cobalt for the batteries in its gadgets

Apple is mining everything it can from its batteries-literally.

Cutting out the middleman, Apple reportedly wants to buy cobalt directly from miners, according to a report from Bloomberg on February 21.

Apple Inc. may start buying cobalt directly from miners, according to a Bloomberg report, which says that Apple is concerned about there being a shortage of the material amid booming demand for electric vehicles.

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Apple is taking this drastic action out of fear over a cobalt shortage brought on by its increased use in electric cars. The figure is expected to skyrocket to 159,900 tonnes in 2025 and to 324,300 tonnes in 2030.

Apple ranks among the top companies for having taken "adequate action" to make sure its cobalt supply chain is safe, according to the organization. Given the element's increased popularity, however, the iPhone maker has made a decision to take a more direct role in the cobalt business outside of just being the end-user. Cobalt is a key component of smartphones batteries, and it's estimated that each smartphone uses around eight grams of refined cobalt.

Apple aims to secure contracts for several thousand metric tons of cobalt each year for five year or more, the news agency reported. In today's case, Apple mostly wants to be able to buy enough cobalt at a fair price for its upcoming gadgets. Other companies like BMW, Volkswagen, and Samsung are also aiming to secure multi-year contracts for supplies of the raw material to produce electric vehicles. That will stress the world's supply of cobalt, and that reality is reflected in the current price. Seeing as this isn't a large quantity of cobalt, it's no smartphones which are depleting cobalt resources: it's electric cars. And other auto manufacturers are probably also paying attention to cobalt prices. Bloomberg notes that Cobalt prices have soared from a little over $20,000 per metric ton back in September 2016 to $80,000 per metric ton right now.

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Amnesty International has even gotten involved in the cobalt fight.

Two-thirds of supplies come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there has never been a peaceful transition of power and child labour is still used in parts of the mining industry.

Apple has since stopped getting cobalt from these suppliers and published a supplier responsibility guide outlining best practices.

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Now a new report reveals that Apple is attempting to secure Cobalt supplies by purchasing the mineral directly from Miners.



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