cobalt fairphone – The Democratic Republic of Congo is rich with natural resources including copper and cobalt. Half of the world reserves of cobalt can be found in the DRC. The cobalt metal is often used in the manufacturing of mobile phones.
With the DRC found to have a good portion of the world's cobalt sources, handmade mines can be found in the countryside. This particular hole goes 30 meters deep and creuseurs (diggers) excavate smaller tunnels to collect the cobalt ore.
The majority of minerals produced and exported in the country are still mined and transported by small scale miners and it's an essential source of income for them.
Many miners told Fairphone that they needed a union to protect them from exploitation and to create a fixed price for minerals.
Working conditions can be harsh, dangerous and poorly paid with some miners receiving only a few dollars for an average 10-hour working day.
Fairphone says everyone works in the mines; children starting from the age of seven, women, men and the elderly.
The men generally dig the raw ores, children put everything in bags and carry the heavy weights to the women, who in their turn will polish the ores.
The truck is loaded with cobalt and copper ore on its way to a smelting facility in Lubumbashi.
waste mobile phones – A typical cell phones contains 30 different kinds of mineral ores with most found in large quantities in the DRC.