Tesla Stands Up for Artisanal Miners in Congo, Joins Fair Cobalt Alliance

Tesla Stands Up for Artisanal Miners in Congo, Joins Fair Cobalt Alliance

Featured image: Fair Cobalt Alliance

Tesla Inc. is backing a new initiative to support informal cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as automobile manufacturers and mining companies seek to secure a supply of ethically mined battery metal.

Tesla has joined the newly formed Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA), according to an updated list of members on the group's website, reported to BNN Bloomberg. FCA is committed to ending child labor in mining operations and improving working conditions in Congo. It is also backed by the miner and trader Glencore Plc, with whom Tesla struck a deal earlier this year.

Source: Fair Cobalt Alliance

The Fair Cobalt Alliance launch will encourage automakers to use Congolese cobalt in their batteries, rather than develop it. The alliance aims to eradicate child labor from mining sites and improve working conditions, as well as support educational opportunities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Despite controversy surrounding the artisanal mining (ASM) of cobalt, the informal industry creates tens of thousands of jobs by developing small deposits that would be uneconomic for large mining companies. Groups such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have said that companies should engage with the sector to encourage improvements.

Source: Fair Cobalt Alliance

“Where we find environmental, social or labor problems in supply chains, we should not avoid them, we should not disengage, but rather it is our duty to take action and make improvements,” said Assheton Carter, executive director of the Fair Cobalt Alliance.

The FCA drives the development of fair cobalt by supporting the professionalization of ASM site management, ensuring uptake of responsible mining practices, and channeling financial investment into mine improvements, with the goal of making mines safer--minimizing environmental impact, and creating decent working conditions for men and women working at the mines.


To prevent children from working inside any of the cobalt mines, the FCA supports ASM operators to establish credible control and monitoring mechanisms to keep children out of the mines.

© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.


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About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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