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Tesla Joins Cobalt Group That Supports Artisanal Congo Miners

Artisanal miners stand as they wait for safety equipment to arrive and permission to start extracting cobalt by a freshly excavated pit in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Artisanal miners stand as they wait for safety equipment to arrive and permission to start extracting cobalt by a freshly excavated pit in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photographer: William Clowes/Bloomberg

Tesla Inc. is backing a new initiative to support informal cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo as carmakers and miners seek to reassure customers about ethically mined supplies of the battery metal.

The company joined the fledgling Fair Cobalt Alliance, according to an updated list of members on the group’s website. The FCA aims to end the use of child labor at mining sites and improve working conditions in Congo. It’s also backed by miner and trader Glencore Plc and major Chinese cobalt refiner Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co.