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Apple might buy cobalt directly from miners

Apple might buy cobalt directly from miners
[Photo: Materialscientist/Wikimedia Commons]

The mineral is used in the lithium-ion batteries that power devices ranging from smartphones to electric cars. As more things like cars go electric–thus increasing the need for cobalt–companies are increasingly worried that there could be cobalt shortages on the horizon. The average iPhone uses about eight grams of cobalt in its battery, but the average battery in an electric vehicle uses 1,000 times more. To help keep a steady supply of the mineral, Apple is reportedly in talks to buy it directly from miners, says Bloomberg. If the company does go ahead with its cobalt plans, it will no doubt come under immense scrutiny as two-thirds of cobalt is mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a history of using child laborers as miners.

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