Apple intends to abandon the services of intermediaries in the purchase of one of the key components for lithium-ion batteries – cobalt – and acquire it directly from the owners of mines. We are talking about the purchase of “several thousand” metric tons of cobalt per year for five years. However, the negotiations have been going on for about a year and do not necessarily end with a deal.
According to Bloomberg, thanks to the success of the Phone, iPad and other mobile gadgets, Apple is one of the largest consumers of cobalt (one third of the total production goes to the production of batteries for smartphones).
In search of similar arrangements are also companies such as BMW, Volkswagen and Samsung.
The reasons why Apple is looking for a direct path to cobalt miners are unknown. It is possible that this is due to the problem of the so-called “conflict minerals” . In March last year, the US corporation announced that it was refusing to purchase cobalt extracted by manual labor in the Congo. This was preceded by reports of human rights organizations that drew attention to the use of child labor and dangerous conditions for miners.