Corporate responsibility an advantage for Aussie miners

Moves by global carmakers to avoid the Congo as a source of ­cobalt for electric vehicles could help underpin the revival of Australia’s nickel mines, as First Quantum Minerals mulls the reopening of its Ravensthorpe ­operations in Western Australia.

The Australian is reporting that Germany’s BMW said it would ensure its suppliers source cobalt, a key commodity in electric batteries, from Australia or Morocco when the company launches its next generation of electric vehicles in 2020 and 2021.

Mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo dominate the ­cobalt market, but the mines, particularly those of smaller producers owned by local companies or worked by artisanal miners, have long been criticised for dangerous working conditions and use of forced labour and children.

BMW procurement boss Andreas Wendt said the German carmaker would ensure its supply chain used “responsibly” sourced product.

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