To Keep Making Phones, Apple And Samsung Must Grapple With The World's Dirtiest Industry

Apple may finally be fed up with some of the unethical supply chains that leave the company open to possible shortages. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple "is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time". If this report is true, Apple would begin working directly with the mines, which are primarily located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and which have previously been accused of significant human rights violations, including the use of child labour. 

In fact, Apple (along with Samsung and Sony) came under fire in 2016 after an Amnesty International report suggested the company was using suppliers that bought cobalt from areas where child labour is rampant. According to the report, as many as 40,000 children work in cobalt mines in the DRC. The DRC supplies more than 50 per cent of the world's cobalt. The metal itself has become increasingly precious in the last few years as it is a key component in the lithium ion batteries that power your phone, laptop, vapes and future electric cars.



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