BMW Joins Project to Improve Conditions for Cobalt Mining in Congo
Carmakers seeking to boost sales of electric cars are struggling to get their hands on cobalt, a scarce but vital component in the production of batteries.
The logo of the German car maker BMW. (AFP Relaxnews)
German carmaker BMW is exploring ways to improve working conditions for mining cobalt in Congo through a pilot project also supported by chemicals giant BASF, battery maker Samsung SDI and a development agency. Carmakers seeking to boost sales of electric cars are struggling to get their hands on cobalt, a scarce but vital component in the production of batteries. The world’s largest known reserves of this raw material are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
BMW said the companies were working together with German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to explore ways to improve working and living conditions in areas where cobalt is extracted using manual labour.
"It seeks to contribute to identifying workable solutions that lead to better working conditions at the mine site," BMW said. "If proven effective, these measures could then be scaled up to other legal artisanal mine sites and enhance systemic challenges in the longer run."
The scope of the project will cover one pilot mine within the next three years, BMW said. BMW will not directly purchase cobalt from the mine, the carmaker said, explaining that the mine will be operated by a local cooperative.
Industrial mining accounts for approximately 80-85 percent of Congolese cobalt production, with manual mining operations producing the remaining 15-20 percent, BMW said.
Currently, companies are facing challenges in the areas of environment, health and safety, and human rights when cobalt is extracted through so-called artisanal mining.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Amit Panghal Becomes 1st Indian Man to Reach World Boxing Championships Final
- Everything You Need to Know About the Area 51 Raid Happening Today
- Rashami Desai to Marry Boyfriend Arhaan Khan Inside Bigg Boss 13 House: Report
- After Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar Accused of Supporting Aarey Forest Destruction
- Your Apple iPhone And iPad Will Get iOS 13.1 And iPadOS Sooner Than Expected