Fairphone visited cobalt mines in CongoPhoto: Fairphone, Flickr (cc)

Two members of the Value Chain team of Fairphone visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to learn more about the conditions in which cobalt is mined. Cobalt is an essential part of mobile phones.

Fairphone visited cobalt mines in CongoPhoto: Fairphone, Flickr (cc)

During the trip, they visited several steps in the supply chain of cobalt in the DRC. A part of the cobalt is mined in small scale, artisanal mines. Workers have little or no equipment or protective gear. The artisanal mines are in stark contrast with the large scale industrial mines. At first sight, these large scale mines offers more opportunities to improve the lives of the local communities. However, most income flows into the government or foreign companies and the large-scale mines offer less employment opportunities.

Read the full report about their trip here.