Browsing: Cobalt

The search for Congo’s cobalt has shown how the clean energy revolution has taken a turn. It is to save the planet from rising temperatures in an age of enlightened self-interest. But it has become mired in a familiar cycle of exploitation, greed, and deception. This often benefits Africa little or not at all.

On November 24, 2021, a group of G7 countries, including Japan and the US made a decision. They stated they will withdraw crude oil from their Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (SPR). The SPR was an underground salt tank in Utah, turned into a recession and warproof facility. It was in reaction to the twin World Trade Center explosions on September 11, 2001.

Precursor material produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could be cost-competitive with material produced in China and Poland but with a lower environmental imprint.
If cathode precursor materials (the intermediate material between raw and finished cathode material) were produced in the DRC, Poland would handle the production of cathode materials and cells, and Germany would handle the final pack assembly, emissions associated with battery production could be reduced by 30% compared to the current supply chain that runs through China.
The DRC’s proximity to cathode raw materials and its reliance on hydroelectric power plants give it an edge in this production.