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Tech Giants Look the Other Way on Rights Abuses Stemming From Cobalt Mining in Congo

A Congolese artisanal miner descends underground in Kailo, Democratic Republic of the Congo.(Julien Harneis / CC BY-SA 2.0) The Democratic Republic of Congo is paying the price for being the world’s largest producer of raw cobalt, a vital ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, smartphones, laptops and other rechargeable devices. As Congolese search for the valuable mineral—cobalt is the most expensive part of lithium-ion batteries—they are suffering a surge in child labor, poverty, pollution and rare birth defects.
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