Daniel Itai – The Zimbabwe Daily
Kinshasa, DRC – American automobile company Tesla, has agreed on a partnership with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) based mining firm Glencore, which will result in Tesla receiving 6 000 tonnes of cobalt per annum.
Cobalt from the new deal with Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore, will be used to manufacture batteries for vehicles built at its Shanghai Gigafactory in China, as well as at its upcoming Gigafactory outside Berlin in Germany.
However, 60 percent of cobalt extracts are generated from child labour, something which Tesla said it was wary of.
“We recognise the higher risks of human rights issues with cobalt supply chains, particularly for child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we are working on significant efforts to establish processes to remove these risks from our supply chain.
Moreso, where we can be assured that minerals including cobalt are coming from mines that meet our social and environmental standards, we will continue to support sourcing from the DRC and other regions,” stated Tesla in a statement.
The new deal will now see America and China as the largest consumers of cobalt taking up three-quarters of the world’s available cobalt which goes for just under US$30 000 a tonne.