Apple is buying cobalt for iPhone batteries before Tesla takes it all

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Apple reportedly looking to buy cobalt directly from miners

The report is given weight by the CEO of one mining company confirming Apple has held discussions about cobalt, which is used in the lithium-ion batteries which power Apple devices ... Although Bloomberg has cited an anonymous source, the news of Apple looking to buy cobalt for their batteries makes a lot of logical sense. Reports indicate that now about a quarter of all cobalt mined globally is used in smartphones and the demand for cobalt is expected to boom by 2030.

Apple is reportedly trying to buy several thousand metric tons of cobalt a year for at least five years.

Now a new report reveals that Apple is attempting to secure Cobalt supplies by purchasing the mineral directly from Miners.

Cobalt prices have skyrocketed of late due to an expected growth in demand for electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Mining giant Glencore has named Apple as one of several companies it is talking to about future supplies.

Apple ranks among the top companies for having taken "adequate action" to make sure its cobalt supply chain is safe, according to the organization.

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The price of cobalt has more than tripled in the past 18 months to trade at more than US$80,000 a metric tonne.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

China, where most of Apple's devices are manufactured, is not only the world's biggest market for smartphones and electric cars, but also the largest consumer of cobalt around the globe. That will stress the world's supply of cobalt, and that reality is reflected in the current price.

"As a result, the global proven reserves of cobalt are dependent on the economic viability of the relevant copper and nickel mines", cautioned analysts at Natixis. Much of that bumper 44% dividend payout is due to the spike in cobalt, which saw a 108% increase on the average price, from $12 a pound to around $25 a pound past year alone.

Compounding the predicted supply bottleneck is the fact that a considerable proportion of the global cobalt supply comes from "artisanal" miners that employ young children, operate outside of authorized mining areas, and work without basic safety equipment, according to a report past year from the human rights organization Amnesty International.

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