Eurasian Resources Group has a pretty massive cobalt mining project in the works in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company stands to realize a nice return on investment at the rate cobalt prices are skyrocketing. They jumped 71% last year and are expected to increase by 60% this year. Rising demand for electric vehicles and limited cobalt supply is driving these prices.
What concerns me about this project is the supply chain. Cobalt mining has come under scrutiny due to the health hazards associated with extracting the mineral. Even more concerning is the reality that evidence has been found of children participating in cobalt mining in DRC. Take a look through ERG’s website, and you’ll see it is fairly light on sustainable development and occupational safety.
Chinese cobalt miners have caught the spotlight in terms of not managing their cobalt sourcing well. ERG should get the same level of attention to be sure it keeps things on the up and up.
Radical economic transformation. Debate over what this means for South Africa reached fever pitch after President Zuma sacked Pravin Gordhan, probably the most respected high-ranking government official at the time. The midnight firing led to two credit agencies giving South Africa junk bond status. Yesterday, the country went into recession. Radical economic transformation. SMH.
Video: Senator Chris Coons Speaks at Council on Foreign Relations
Senator Chris Coons spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday, discussing US policy in Africa. Best line from the conversation, “On some level, I don’t want it to be a higher priority for the Trump administration.” Agreed.