Source of cobalt for our battery packs

Mike

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#1
Someone I know is trying to guilt me into believing that Tesla uses cobalt from the DRC.

They quote (inflammatory rhetoric) stories found in some press outlets.

I've done the quick online search and can't find a definitive answer to where Tesla gets it's cobalt.

If someone knows if or when the cobalt will be sourced from within North America (such as the Sudbury Ontario area for example) please let me know and I'll pass it on. Thanks. Cheers.
 

garsh

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#2

garsh

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#3
An interesting article on seekingalpha:

Cobalt: The Weak Link In Tesla's Supply Chain

Historically, Tesla bought finished battery cells from Panasonic (OTCPK: PCRFF) which in turn bought processed cathode powders from Sumitomo Metal Mining (OTCPK:SMMYY); a Japanese company that owns a cobalt mine in the Philippines and processes its cobalt into cathode powders for battery manufacturers.

So, I think we're safe to say that the Cobalt for Model S and Model X do not come from the DRC, but from the Philippines.
 

garsh

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#5
The Daily Mail, eh?

I skimmed the article. It talks about the "cobalt mines" in DRC. According to the SeekingAlpha article I posted above:

98% of the world’s ethical cobalt is produced as a byproduct of copper and nickel mining

Which makes it sound like there aren't many mines specifically for cobalt.
 

Mike

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#6
The Daily Mail, eh?

I skimmed the article. It talks about the "cobalt mines" in DRC. According to the SeekingAlpha article I posted above:

98% of the world’s ethical cobalt is produced as a byproduct of copper and nickel mining

Which makes it sound like there aren't many mines specifically for cobalt.
It seems to be a news article that could have been ghost writen by big oil. I'm sure it's being quoted on "Fox and Friends".

I'm bullish that in the Sudbury Ontario area (huge nickel and copper mining operations) there will once again be cobalt production:

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/sudbury/cobalt-mining-resurgence-1.4030303
 
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#7
I read through that same DailyMail garbage when someone posted it on Facebook (who's known to just share BS). I tore into it a bit, after doing quite a bit of research. Apparently Tesla has stated their intention to use (purely?) North American cobalt, but that's simply not enough volume by any stretch in the near future to provide what's needed for Model 3 demand.

That said, they're at least vocal about wanting them to be ethically sourced. I think as volume expands and public awareness increases, there will be legislation to match. The concept is called "conflict minerals" if you want to further research.

The simple retort to someone trying to "guilt" you? "Oh, so you've gotten rid of your smartphones, laptops, and cordless tools?"