Cobalt Red is a scathing indictment of the global cobalt trade, and by extension, the electric vehicle industry.
This is a really good and important piece - Marty Snyder
Corruption of the so-called "government" is the problem. The risk to reputable mining companies is such that they will not invest. Therefore, the greed of the corrupt make money off the backs of the poor. I know, I went to the Congo 4 times in the 2000's to evaluate resources there. each time the investment was rejected by the board bc of the risk. Have a look at South Africa to understand the problem of corruption and greed of the continents "leaders."
I have a hard time following Siddharth Kara‘s work. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s that he covers such dark topics. Not for the faint of heart. His writing is also off the charts. It’s unfortunate someone with those skills has to use it for non-fiction writing.
I agree that the cobalt mining in the Congo is done by subhuman standards, if it is possible to extract the cobalt with preindustrial mean, what is blocking modern mining methods? The phenomenal increase in productivity from mechanized labour can’t be denied yet in isn’t happen.
As a chemist, I worked at Cytec Industries Mining Chemicals Division synthesizing and testing metal extraction chemistries; and later on in mining wastewater remediation at another firm.
The scale of the inefficiencies and consumption of resources is staggering, and just to produce a gold wedding band, let alone an EV battery.
We both gave Siddharth some help exposing this today. Channeling Brandeis: “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”.