Cobalt-mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery

Sir Mo Farah


Slave trade

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King Leopold II

Cobalt-mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a complex issue with many key points, some of which are:

  1. The DRC is one of the world’s largest producers of cobalt, a key component in the batteries that power electric vehicles, smartphones, and other electronic devices.

  2. Cobalt mining in the DRC is largely done by artisanal and small-scale miners, who often work in dangerous and exploitative conditions.

  3. The mining industry in the DRC has been plagued by corruption, violence, and human rights abuses, with armed groups and state security forces often involved.

  4. The demand for cobalt has led to an increase in child labor in the DRC, with an estimated 40,000 children working in cobalt mines.

  5. The environmental impact of cobalt mining in the DRC is also a concern, with the use of toxic chemicals and the destruction of ecosystems.

  6. Efforts are being made to address these issues, with companies and governments implementing responsible sourcing policies and investing in local communities, but progress has been slow.

  7. There is a growing awareness among consumers and investors about the ethical and environmental implications of cobalt mining in the DRC, and pressure is mounting on companies to ensure that their supply chains are free from human rights abuses and environmental harm.

1 This is what we die for: Child labour in the DRC cobalt mines

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19 jan. 2016


This film documents the hazardous conditions in which artisanal miners, including thousands of children, mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It goes on to trace how this cobalt is used to power mobile phones, laptop computers, and other portable electronic devices. Using basic hand tools, miners dig out rocks from tunnels deep underground, and accidents are common. Despite the potentially fatal health effects of prolonged exposure to cobalt, adult and child miners work without even the most basic protective equipment.

2 Top tech companies sued over child cobalt mining deaths in Congo

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17 dec. 2019

A human rights group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 14 families from the Democratic Republic of Congo, accusing Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla of benefiting from child labor to mine cobalt. CBS News foreign correspondent Debora Patta exposed the brutal conditions in the mines last year. She joins CBSN to explain the latest developments.

3 Maisha A New Life Outside the Mines

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31 okt. 2015

What happens when hundreds of children from the DRC drop their tools and abandon the mines for a new life? They go to school, start businesses and stop dying at a young age. A rare and timely look at the dangers of DR Congo’s small-scale mining sector that powers our digital age, this film takes the viewer to a place few have ventured before: inside the copper and cobalt mines in Kolwezi, southern DRC. This film follows a grass-roots initiative that has generated much conversation — from the streets of Kolwezi to the halls of the United Nations HQ in New York — on how the Congolese can break the cycle of poverty, abuse and exploitation inflicted on it by multinational mining companies to build a sustainable development model that’s powered by the country’s most potent resource: its people.
This Good Shepherd project was featured prominently in a January, 2016 Amnesty International report on the international cobalt trade, and the dangers to children:
Natalia Dashan
What a great film. Thank you guys for making it. I now wish to learn more about the region and about Africa in general, and felt like I have gained valuable insight about the world.
Vinitha Sathyanathan
This is a such a wonderful inspiration to move beyond our space to uphold the beauty of every soul in every corner of the world.
Derrick Mutatsh
My precious country and city new Story begins, Tant qu’il y a la vie il ya de L’espoir. We will change this to a better life by God Grace.
Bernhard Warner
Maisha has been selected for screening at various international film festivals! See where at
Bernhard Warner
We’re proud to share the news: we’ve won two film festival awards and continue to earn selections to film fests around the world. Next stop: Moscow
Why not tackle the corrupt leaders of Congo and multinationals who are destroying congo. I don’t see long term relief in the minimal organization that are trying to help
Macus Arusilus
resources in Congo value 24 trillion millions dollies GDP of America , NATO and they will saying African are poor living .when luckly next generation grew up retrieve what you have stooling you will say is crime but what you are doing now are no crimes. but don’t forget where you pass your nemesis never failed only take time e.

4 DR Congo cobalt miners work in treacherous conditions

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25 nov. 2021

A global goal to attain net-zero emissions by 2050 is contributing to a surge in demand for electric cars.
The batteries that power these vehicles contain cobalt, much of which is mined in Democratic Republic of Congo. It is dangerous work, but many miners say they are not getting their fair share of the spoils.
Imperialism never ended, it just changed owners/masters
Unreported world recently put out an excellent in depth report on cobalt in the DRC.
khaja mohiddin csk
They should ban foreign companies from mining in their country and only local companies should mine. And they should decide the price of the product.
muchila mwamona
Kolwezi borders the Zambian district of Mushindamo .The body of ore being mined at Kolwezi extended to Mushindamo .I am calling upon the Zambian government to conduct exploration for cobalt and copper.The electric car has arrived.Let us exploit our cobalt please.
Cayo Le Docteur
Africa is time to wake up 🤷‍♂🤷‍♂🤷‍♂🤷‍♂
Samson Soturian
The mines have been like this for decades. Ever since the Belgians left.
it’s been like this for generations. the children hide when cameras show-up.
Ramblingman 100
Thats what a carbon neutral world looks like.
Lynette Towsend
What a terrible world thisis still going on it poor countries🙏
Ras Mei
Philippines and Dr Congo has this cobalt a rare menirals making car batteries etc. Philippines and Indonesia have more nickles and Singapore bought it in cheapest price to trade with China.
If Coltan or minerals run out and we have no more technology or anything? 🧐 dependency on Africa looking like it will be gone soon if all the resources are dug out of the Earth.
Kerry Fat
PEOPLE DO U SEE DO U “that Eletric hummer Labron is driving in Advertisement is what they’re digging up for 🤦🏽‍♂🤦🏻‍♂️ people just don’t care
Garden City
Wow there’s your “Green Energy” progressives!
Hadiseh Lavasani 🇮🇷
Make a video about Wahhabism and their crimes that they did with the name of Islam
Cobalt : bomb booster
Ahmed Ali
But they will never open a tesla or an electric car battery plant in congo Like the saying goes if you give some one a fish that only feeds him for that day but if you teach a person to fish he will forever feed him self
Baol Media
Time for Africa to unite or perish
Mohamed Ali
They need to stop digging and pick up guns.
Claudia Kramer
All men and boys. So tell me where the oppressed gender is?
albert einstien
Dear god Congo’s been plundered by foreigners for so long that some parts of the country look completely barren and lifeless…

5 Kinsevere: Beyond Mining

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12 sep. 2014

Kinsevere is a world-class copper mine located in the Democratic of Congo (DRC). Find out more:…
Thowsef Saludeen
Best mining in the DRC with good administrative leaders in all departments …
Capt Kirui
Nice but not only work to the local people!,put open you profit from the resources and show us how much percentage you give to the local people
Thecla Meli
Mining for progress…
John Mwangi
How can i buy thi copper
Abdirashid Dubow
Is this a PR campaign for this company that milks dry the resources
A mining company that can’t paye properly its emplyoyees only in DRC we so poor but with so much wealth! Our corrupt goverment can’t do nothing about it 😢

6 Blood Cobalt: The Congo’s Dangerous and Deadly Green Energy Mines | Foreign Correspondent

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In première gegaan op 24 feb. 2022

The world is embracing renewable technologies but how much do we know about the metals that are powering this green revolution?

This story exposes the shocking truth about the mining of cobalt, a metal crucial to making the batteries in electric cars, laptops and mobile phones.

The world’s richest deposits of cobalt are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the poorest countries on earth. It produces around 70% of world output.

This buried treasure has lured hundreds of thousands of Congolese to work in the country’s mines, big and small.

But mining is dangerous, corruption and violence is rife and though child labour has been banned, it’s common.

In recent years, the cobalt trade has been taken over by Chinese companies which operate or finance 15 of the 19 big industrial mines. Locals say that under their management, low safety standards have dropped even further.

“Unfortunately people even are dying for lack of safety,” says an employee of one big company.

Australian reporter Michael Davie travels to this mineral-rich country to investigate the industry – from the major Chinese-owned companies to the conditions of the small-scale workers on the fringes of the big mines.
It’s a dangerous mission and Davie is followed, harassed and arrested by mine and government security officials.

What he uncovers is shocking.

The day he arrives there’s been a mine cave-in, killing at least six miners.

He sees miners tunnel 25 metres underground with no safety equipment.

He meets primary school-age children handling cobalt, a toxic metal which can cause serious health effects.

He meets a mother whose 13-year-old son has just been killed on the fringes of a mine whose embankment collapsed. Companies in the Congo are obliged to make sure they don’t harm the communities around them.

He secures a video which shows a man being beaten by a Congolese soldier as mine managers watch on, laughing.

And he interviews a whistleblower who accuses the Chinese mine he works for of covering up the deaths of co-workers. He also says the country isn’t benefitting from the boom.

“There is no investment coming back in terms of environment, infrastructure…We don’t have road facilities, we don’t have communication. There is nothing.”

But there’s hope amidst the gloom. Davie meets the Good Shepherd Sisters, nuns who’ve set up a school near the mines and educated thousands of children.

“If the children are given education, if schools are spread all over and every child goes to school, then we are redeeming this country,” says one nun.

This is a rare insight into a powerful industry which operates a dangerous business with seeming impunity. All of us use the end products.

About Foreign Correspondent:
Foreign Correspondent is the prime-time international public affairs program on Australia’s national broadcaster, ABC-TV. We produce half-hour duration in-depth reports for broadcast across the ABC’s television channels and digital platforms. Since 1992, our teams have journeyed to more than 170 countries to report on war, natural calamity and social and political upheaval – through the eyes of the people at the heart of it all.

Contributions may be removed if they violate ABC’s Online Terms of Use (Section 3). This is an official Australian Broadcasting Corporation YouTube channel

Cobalt is used in the Lithium-ion battery making process, so this is a long time problem. Anyone who’s had a phone or a laptop in the last 20 years is part of this process. EV’s could accelerate the scale of the issue where the sheer quantity of minerals required to produce batteries at that size and scale is a real problem. Research is going into how to try and eliminate Cobalt from the battery making process while keeping the same amount of charge. Technically you can make a battery without cobalt, but it’s our willingness to accept a battery that doesn’t hold as much charge. So far there isn’t a magical replacement for Cobalt just yet. Probably the main factor for moving away from cobalt is that it’s rare enough that it isn’t sustainable to make batteries at the scale required for all cars to be EV’s. Car makers know they need to find a more abundant element to make batteries with. The main issue right now is everything is so corrupt in Congo that it’s difficult to clean up the process to have ethically mined Cobalt.
Thanasis Zantrimas
That’s a really excellent piece of documentary. I have also watched a similar one from DW which is called the Price of Green Energy.
This took my words. Thank you very much for the content
Thank you for sharing this. 🙏
TVChannel One
Anything you buy on the open market could have a hideous history.. It’s impossible for nations to have sovereignty AND have a global commodities market with the oversight to prevent this kind of thing. The only solution for this specific cobalt problem atm, is the one being taken… take cobalt out of our battery chemistry, it’s not too hard…. Fortunately grid storage is better suited to sodium batteries that don’t need cobalt, it’s mostly EV’s and portable stuff that has the issue for now..
“there is no such thing as clean green free anything. there are only different shades of dirty brown” – me, last century.
69 likes only?! This needs way more exposure.
Motherwoo &Damo D
1st time I’ve heard about this until I watched this so many shut things going on at the same time all over the world… I’m different world you could all be watching out down children and family surviving like this ?
Less than 20% of all cobalt in the world is used in EVs, and the sector is moving away from the element. Currently more cobalt is used in your combustion engine car muffler to reduce the toxic compounds emitted. Just wanted to add the nuance, it’s very sad that these violation of human right and dignity only play a role when new industries try to develop and disrupt the status quo. I also dislike the anti China angle the west currently and historically has a far larger footprint of exploitation. Look att mica for your makeup, coa, sugarcane, diamonds, bananas, gold, oil, sweatshops, etc. We all need to ask more from the companies that build and sell our products, and stop pointing fingers we all have blood on our hands.
Nangula Nghiyalwa
Congo should not be poor 😭😭
Juanita Richards
Those beautiful children…..
Elaine Armstrong
The nun is a truly beautiful woman
Poor people paying the price for the self appointed virtuous ones who think they are saving the universe by driving electric cars
Jamie Scholl
I’m amazed at how long it took for the ABC to finally bring this to light…
Fernando Fonseca
Congolese law??? You talk about congolese law???? You should kidding my friend….
M Nguyen
The boss eats. The maid scraps the plate , the dog 🐕 leak. The rat is beaten .
Fritz Munro
Artisinal makes it sound good. Illegal is more appropriate
Niel Marshal
Elon: our cars is more green than the hydrogen car
How green are EV cars again?
Wayne king
Sombody needs to show this to Elon musk
I think Australia did similar in Timor.
Jessica Harris
As an Australian, the shame runs deep. This stuffs in my phone?! I’ve lost 3 children, but not like this. Not like this.

7 Smartphones: The world in your pocket – The Congolese Blood in your hand

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9 mrt. 2015

Google, Apple, Intel and other tech companies revealed that minerals sold to fund combattants in the Democratic Republic of Congo and nearby countries may be used in the manufacture of their gadgets. Everyday its an emergency in east of Congo due to crisis war and sexual violence.
The disclosures come thanks to the reform-focused Dodd-Frank Act, which now requires thousands of companies to release an annual report detailing the use of so-called conflict minerals. Tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold-products common in electronics and known collectively as “3TG” are mined heavily in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other central African countries. Proceeds from some of the mines are used to fun an ongoing war that’s become the deadliest armed conflict since World War 2, according to one study.
However, because such materials travel through a variety of smelters, manufacturersand distributors before they end up in a phone or laptop, vetting the entire manufacturing line is a difficult, expensive process. The SEC has estimated that compliance with the new rule cost companies $3 to $4 billion in the first year and will cost $206 to $609 million in subsequent years.
In regulatory filings, the tech giants continuously said they did not have sufficient data to fully determine whether conflict minerals were present in their products. Google wrote in its filing that “based on our due diligence, we have reason to believe that portion of the 3TG used in our products originated from the covered countries, but we have not identified any instances of sourcing that directly or indirectly supported conflict in the covered countries”. The company disclosed that about 36 percent of its smelters in the Democratic republic of the Congo region have been certified as not trafficking in conflict minerals, but it could notmake a firm determination about other suppliers.
Apple, which began tracking the practices of individual smelters in 2010, said that 80 percent of the smelters it does business with in the region do not use conflict minerals. But like Google, Apple said it did not know enough to definitively say whether the other suppliers use them.
Intel, meanwhile, said that its microprocessors and chipsets are conflict-free, but it could not determine the conflict status of its other products. And Amazon said “majority” of the suppliers that contribute to its kindle pipeline are not using conflict minerals.
Every company which made a disclosure said they would pressure their questionable suppliers to be certified as compliant with conflict-free standards.
overall, the reports indicate that tech companies are at least advocating for the manufacture of conflict-free products, but they are finding it difficult to implement such initiatives on a practical level. No ones is keen on abandoning the region entirely-despite raised awareness of conflict minerals, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s share of tantalum production actually increased in 2013, according to the Wall street Journal. Some companies even argue that continuing to draw minerals from the region could allow them to be a force for good.
“Rather than simply funneling its demand through a limited number of verified smelters or those that are not sourcing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Apple wrote, “Apple believes the best way to impact human rights abuses on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo is to have critical mass of smelters verified as conflict-free, so that demand from other questionable sources is reduced.”

8 Toxic Cost of Going Green | Unreported World

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31 okt. 2021

Unreported World investigates the dirty business of cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mineral is fuelling the planet’s green revolution, but at what cost?

Around seventy percent of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Central African country, mostly from the southern Katanga area, thought to be one of the ten most polluted places on earth. Reporter Jamal Osman travels to Kolwezi, a city dependent on supplying Cobalt, a critical component for electric cars and rechargeable batteries. Residents are employed by large multinational companies, or in smaller, and more dangerous artisanal mines. We meet the men who clamber down dark weaving airless tunnels to extract cobalt for as little as $150 per month. But is the paycheck worth the health risks that doctors have uncovered?

Director: Girish Juneja
Series Producer: Andy Lee
Executive Producer: Ed Fraser
Production Company: Channel 4 News

Toxic Cost of Going Green | Unreported World – Blog


Free Garbage Drink Prank

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9 mei 2011

Little kids serve free organic, green juice to prank victims at a juice stand. But then they run out of juice and run to get more…and the prank victims see where the juice is coming from. The all natural bio juice is taken straight from a liquid drain in a garbage truck.
A presentation of JustForLaughsTV, the official Just For Laughs Gags YouTube channel. Home of the funniest, greatest, most amazing, most hilarious, win filled, comedy galore, hidden camera pranks in the world!

Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery

Sir Mo Farah


Slave trade

Current page

King Leopold II