Latest Posts





Wall Street Journal: Mining Cobalt in the Congo is Still Dirty and Dangerous

As we’ve written before, cobalt is an important component of the batteries used in smartphones, laptops, and electric cars, and Minnesota has the largest deposits of cobalt in the United States. In fact, just three of the several copper-nickel deposits in the Duluth Complex of Minnesota hold 47 percent of U.S. cobalt resources.

However, we are not currently developing these resources, which leaves us heavily dependent upon the cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where as many as 40,000 children have been employed in mining cobalt.

The Wall Street Journal had a video on their website explaining that despite promises by tech companies such as Apple and Volkswagen to do a better job of sourcing their cobalt to ensure children were not employed in the mines. You can read the article below:

Despite Cleanup Vows, Smartphones and Electric Cars Still Keep Miners Digging by Hand in Congo
Apple, Volkswagen and other global manufacturers that vowed to make sure children and miners were not working under dangerous conditions digging up minerals used for batteries have largely failed in their efforts, write WSJ’s  Scott Patterson and Alexandra Wexler.
Many firms said they would audit their suppliers and send teams to Congo to fix the problem after Amnesty International reported two years ago that the cobalt in some of their batteries was dug up by Congolese miners and children in inhumane job sites.
Still, at a cobalt mine named Mutoshi in Kolwezi, freelance Congolese workers known as creuseurs—French for miners—could be seen in May descending underground without helmets, shoes or safety equipment. The mine’s owner is part of the global cobalt supply chain for companies including Apple and VW.
Miners there were using picks, shovels and bare hands to unearth rocks rich with the metal. Water sometimes rushes into holes and drowns miners, and an earth mover buried one alive last year, said local creuseurs and mine officials.
“Of course, people die,” said Christian Schöppe, then acting chief executive of the Mutoshi mine’s owner, Chemaf SARL, in May. “This is really shitty work.”

This begs the question, would Minnesotans rather buy their cobalt from unscrupulous mine owners in the Congo, or know the batteries in their smartphones and laptops contain ethically sourced cobalt from right here in Minnesota.

This shouldn’t be a hard decision.





Upcoming Events

  • YLC Curling Event

    Location: Chaska Curling Center 3210 Chaska Blvd, Chaska, MN 55318

    Grab your broom and stone and join the Young Leadership Council for an evening of Curling at the Chaska Curling Center! $40 registration includes: Instruction Ice time and equipment Appetizers (Curling Center Bar will be available to purchase drinks) The event will begin with 15-20 minutes of classroom instruction on curling rules and basics followed by 20-30 minutes on the ice for practice and drills. Instructors will be on hand the whole evening to guide your games. Dress Code: Bring a pair of clean-on-the-bottom shoes to change into. No leather soles or metal lace hooks Loose fitting or strechy clothes…

    Register Now
  • The Diversity Delusion

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, April 24th at the Hilton Hotel for a lunch forum with Heather Mac Donald as she discusses her new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.  Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race…

    Register Now
  • 2019 Annual Dinner Featuring Nigel Farage

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now