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Apple Heads Off Potential Battery Supply Shortage With Direct Cobalt Miner Deal

Mining.Julien Harneis/Wikimedia

As one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, it’s only natural that Apple would be worried about supply shortages that could affect its products. This is apparently why it is now making a deal with cobalt miners directly so that it can ensure a steady supply of the metal. Cobalt is used for making modern batteries, with demands at an all-time high due to the proliferation of electric vehicles.

This is supposedly the first time that the Cupertino firm is dealing directly with cobalt miners to secure its access to the precious metal, according to sources, Bloomberg reports. As a major end user of the ingredient for creating batteries, Apple needs to make sure that it gets a steady supply in order to meet production goals with its immensely popular mobile devices.

Previously, the iPhone maker has delegated the task of actually getting cobalt to the companies that actually made the batteries for it. Unfortunately, the skyrocketing demand for cobalt thanks to the rise in EVs, which also require the metal has posed worries that there could be a shortage coming soon.

As people who have knowledge of the deal told the publication, Apple wants to ensure that it gets cobalt worth thousands of metric tons within five years or even longer. It’s currently trying to do this by reaching out directly to mining firms, with the deal apparently starting over a year ago.

As TechCrunch notes, Apple has a lot of money that it can funnel into securing materials for its production line. While concerns such as child labor do plague the mining industry, which the Cupertino firm has tried to avoid, what the iPhone maker likely wants right now is simply to look after its own interests. After all, if there are no batteries, there won’t be any mobile devices.

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