Enabling a Just Transition to Electric Mobility: The Integration of the Informal Mining Sector


June 2024

Cobalt is a critical mineral for the energy transition, yet human rights abuses in cobalt mining are rampant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where over two thirds of the world’s cobalt is produced. Human rights risks are particularly high in artisanal small-scale mining (ASM), where mining accidents and child labor are common. Companies in need of cobalt must address these issues which constitute an industry challenge that affects their supply chain.

This case study outlines a practical way forward – the formalization of artisanal mining — that companies should support. Establishing this formalization model could benefit an estimated 40 million artisanal miners around the world. The case invites students to discuss the challenges of formalizing ASM in mineral and metal supply chains in the context of an energy transition that should not only be green but also just.


Publication cover