LONDON (Reuters) – German carmaker Daimler has joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, a program established under a Chinese industry body to tackle risks in the cobalt supply chain arising from artisanal mining.
Cobalt consumers are under pressure to ensure the material they use is not tainted by child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the source of about 60 percent of the world’s cobalt.
Amnesty International says about a fifth of the country’s cobalt production is mined by hand by informal miners including children, often in dangerous conditions. Daimler, owner of the Mercedes Brand, joined the RCI at the start of April, RCI Chairman Sun Lihui told Reuters.
“With the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI), Mercedes-Benz Cars is taking steps to combat the social and environmental risks in the cobalt value chain,” a Daimler spokesperson said. “Transparency and governance will be improved and the risks of child labor diminished”
The RCI, which groups high-profile cobalt users such as Apple Inc, Sony Corp and Volvo, was established under the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters in 2016.
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