19 May 2021. The Cobalt Conference has become a platform for the high-level state officials and industry executives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to demonstrate the country’s efforts to formalise the artisanal and small-scale mining. Similar sentiments were shared by the Cook Islands Prime Minister on its efforts in developing deep sea mining.
Joseph Ikoli Yombo Y’Apeke, the DRC’s Secretary General of Mines, said: “The artisanal cobalt mining sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is being cleaned up to ensure the responsible supply of eligible cobalt to the international market.”
He was echoed by Jean-Dominique Takis, CEO of a recently established Entreprise Générale du Cobalt: “Our mission is to defend our most vulnerable communities as well as to ensure that the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has 80% of the world reserve of cobalt, can continue to benefit from its significant natural resource wealth.”
According to the new Cobalt Institute’s Cobalt Market report, the DRC remained the largest source of cobalt supply in 2020, accounting for 66% of the global mine supply.
The Cobalt Conference also welcomed Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Honourable Mark Brown. He spoke about the country’s deep sea mining potential and the nation’s efforts to sustainably and responsibly develop its vast resource as a means to provide much needed economic security and support the global transition to a low-carbon economy.
Prime Minister Brown said: “We have a unique window of opportunity to put in place the necessary regulatory and governance frameworks before any harvesting of deep sea nodules begin, and I look forward to our collective contribution to that.”