Recent reports that Apple is looking to procure cobalt, an essential component in smartphone batteries, directly from mining companies have highlighted a growing concern about the valuable metal’s impending supply shortage.
But just as important as securing a supply of the limited resource may be what one expert calls a “21st century factor” — ethics and human rights.
“Apple is a buyer of batteries, not a buyer of battery components, and it’s a number of steps away from the raw materials side. So this is significant — the reason they’re doing it is supply chain visibility,” Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Minerals, told CNBC. “They need to know that children have not been illegally mining where their cobalt is coming from.” Continue Reading →