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Marina Schwarz

Congo Dealing with Artisanal Cobalt Mines

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Imagine digging a hole in your yard and striking cobalt. This apparently happens a lot in Congo and people are dropping everything, taking shovels and pickaxes, and going after cobalt seams across neigborhoods. But this is dangerous mining, of course, and accidents are frequent, not to mention reports from Amnesty and likes about child labor. So now big miners in Congo are starting to refuse to buy the artisanally mined cobalt, Apple is trying to make these "mines" safer, and the government is inviting large miners to take over the mines from the locals and employ them officially. Middlemen are unhappy with being cut out from the business and not all locals want to work as miners for a company. Interesting situation.

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