Our client was an international government seeking to determine its investment strategy in the cobalt sector as a means of guaranteeing future supply of the mineral for its sizeable automotive industry. The client was particularly concerned by reputational risks associated with labour abuses, corruption and human rights issues associated with different mining and export supply-chain models in the DRC, which produces around two-thirds of the world’s cobalt.
Africa Practice engaged with its extensive network of expert sources involved in mining and politics in the DRC, talking to policy experts, industry players, international NGOs and human rights organisations and other expert commentators. We combined these source conversations with detailed research of policy documents, NGO studies and media exposés as well as other public record information. Africa Practice subsequently produced a robust and thorough study of the DRC’s cobalt sector, exploring the different extraction and trading models and their associated risks, as well as exploring broader market risks in the DRC.
Our study included advisory recommendations on the investment models and risk mitigation strategies that would best achieve commercial objectives while supporting developmental impact in the DRC. The client is currently developing its strategy based on these recommendations.