A recently published report suggests that the world may in fact be running out of technology minerals such as cobalt and coltan. Over 60% of the world's supply of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The report titled ""Mineral supply for sustainable development requires resource governance" was pblished by a team of researchers from various organizations in South Africa, USA, South America, Europe, and Australia.

"Metal recycling and technological change will contribute to sustaining supply, but mining must continue and grow for the foreseeable future to ensure that such minerals remain available to industry. New links are needed between existing institutional frameworks to oversee responsible sourcing of minerals, trajectories for mineral exploration, environmental practices, and consumer awareness of the effects of consumption." said the team in a statement.

Technology minerals such as cobalt and coltan form an important part of the electronics we use on a daily basis such as mobile phones,laptops, solar panels, and hybrid / electric cars.

The research team say that through "analysis of a comprehensive set of data and demand forecasts, an interdisciplinary perspective on how best to ensure ecologically viable continuity of global mineral supply over the coming decades".

Technology minerals have in recent years come under the spotlight after revelations that the mines from which some of the largest electronics brands source their minerals from in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) use child labour.

This has even led to Apple not only indicating that it won't be sourcing cobalt from mines in the DRC that use child labour but also that they are working on a manufacturing process for their devices that will use only 100% recycled materials.

Cover Image: Coltan mine in the DRC.

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