Friday, November 21, 2008

Why Going Green Could Help the Congo

If the United States and other industrial powers ever overcome their addiction to oil, it could be thanks to the DRC. Plug-in electric cars with rechargeable batteries may eventually replace our carbon-emitting gas-guzzlers--and the most promising technology for these batteries are made with cobalt, according to a story on National Public Radio. It so happens that the Congo's Katanga province contains half of the world's known reserves of that mineral.

Unfortunately, that possibility wasn't enough to keep Congo's main cobalt mine in production. Yesterday, the Central African Mining & Exploration Company said it had suspended copper and cobalt mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a drop in demand and prices. "The decision is a swift reaction to a sudden steep decline in cobalt demand from China, as well as a further decline in the copper price," said the London-listed miner.

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