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Tesla and Elon Musk sign cobalt deal with Glencore for electric car production

Tesla has signed a deal with London headquartered mining giant Glencore for the supply of cobalt, the Standard can confirm.

According to a report by the Financial Times on Tuesday, Glencore will sell cobalt to Tesla for use in vehicles being produced at new car plants in China and Germany.

The deal could involve Glencore supplying as much as 6,000 tons of the metal a year for lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars.

Back in January it was reported that executives from the two companies had previously been hammering out terms of a deal for Glencore to supply raw materials for vehicles being produced at Tesla’s car facility in Shanghai.

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Cobalt has become a much sought after metal and is also used in iPhones and laptops.

Cobalt prices hit record highs of $92,500 per pound last year as people’s insatiable appetite for tech products grows around the globe. Prices have since eased off.

But cobalt mining has become a source of controversy, particularly in Democratic Republic of Congo where three quarters of the world’s supply comes from and where is it is often mined illegally.

Tesla has said it will support sourcing of the metal from the DRC if it can be assured raw materials are coming from operations that meet social and environmental standards.

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