EIT RAW MATERIALS SUMMIT 2019
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The Future of Waste NdFeB Rare Earth Permanent Magnets and their Role in a Circular Economy
Cobalt is a mineral that is under a lot of international scrutiny at the moment due to the fact that it is mined primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where advocacy NGOs have alerted to human rights abuses associated with cobalt mining, and its importance for lithium-ion batteries in all of our consumer electronics and electric vehicles.
As a result, electronics and car companies have started conducting significant human rights due diligence on their cobalt supply chains and are currently looking for solutions to mitigate human rights risks at the source of their supply chains, including audits against standards developed by these downstream companies. The experience from the 'conflict minerals' debate, however, is that such efforts need to be cooperative and aligned with other stakeholders exposed to the issue, including Chinese midstream companies (cathode producers, refiners), Congolese mining companies, civil society organizations, international advocacy NGOs, donors, international organizations, industry associations, and governments in the DRC, the United States, and Europe.
If not, there is a risk that risk mitigation efforts become playing fields for geopolitics and economic interests and that responsible sourcing becomes a competitive space rather than one that contributes to improving the production conditions on the ground.
PS6 - Resource Efficiency Cities
Wed Feb 13 2019 16:32:34 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)