9 Billion Phones Rely on Rare Metals for Power | Business Insider Feature

9 Billion Phones Rely on Rare Metals for Power | Business Insider Feature

The global smartphone industry relies heavily on the mining and extraction of rare metals, with over 25 different metals hidden within the 9 billion smartphones around the world. These valuable materials are essential for powering the devices that have become an integral part of our daily lives.

One of the most important rare metals found in smartphones is lithium, which is used in the batteries that power these devices. Lithium is primarily sourced from countries such as Australia, Chile, and Argentina, where vast reserves of this mineral can be found. The mining and extraction of lithium can be a complex and labor-intensive process, requiring significant investments in infrastructure and technology.

Another crucial rare metal found in smartphones is cobalt, which is used in the production of rechargeable batteries. The majority of the world’s cobalt is sourced from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where issues such as child labor and unsafe working conditions have been reported. Companies in the smartphone industry are facing increasing pressure to ensure that their supply chains are free from unethical practices.

In addition to lithium and cobalt, other rare metals such as tantalum, neodymium, and indium are also essential components of smartphones. These metals are used in various parts of the devices, from screens and cameras to speakers and circuit boards. The global demand for these rare metals continues to grow as the smartphone market expands and new technologies are developed.

As consumers, it is important to be aware of the environmental and social implications of the production and disposal of smartphones. By understanding where the rare metals in our devices come from and the impact of their extraction on local communities and ecosystems, we can make more informed choices as consumers. The smartphone industry must also take responsibility for ensuring that their supply chains are transparent and ethical in order to minimize the negative consequences of rare metal mining.

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Video “How 9 Billion Phones Are Powered By Rare Metals | Business Insider Marathon” was uploaded on 06/29/2024 to Youtube Channel Business Insider