Morocco is the 12th-biggest cobalt exporting country, with 2,081 metric tons produced in 2016.
Rabat – The German automaker BMW has decided to start buying its cobalt, an essential component for electric vehicle batteries, from Australian and Moroccan mines, reported Reuters on Tuesday.
Andreas Wendt, a member of the BMW Purchasing Board, said in a meeting in Paris that BMW would use the new cobalt supply in its next generation of electric vehicles in 2020.
The announcement comes as the London Metal Exchange (LME) has launched an initiative to ban or delist brands that are not meeting, by 2022, a “minimum level of responsible sourcing compliance” in the fight against the exploitation of children or corruption in the mining industry.
Congo has the largest known cobalt reserves in the world, with 60% of the world’s cobalt reserves, followed by China and Canada.
BMW said last year that it was seeking ways to improve working conditions for cobalt mining in Congo through a pilot project, the agency reported.
Morocco is the 12th biggest cobalt-exporting country because of its Bou-Azzer mine, 120 kilometers south of Ouarzazate in the Sahara desert.
Morocco produced 2,081 metric tons of the mineral in 2016. Morocco’s Managem group is the company responsible for extracting the precious metal. Cobalt sells for approximately $79 per kilogram.