Cobalt, a key component in the production of lithium-ion batteries that power phones, computers, and electric vehicles, has soared in both demand and price in recent years. Lithium-ion batteries account for over half of global cobalt consumption, and with electric vehicle sales predicted to grow from 6.5 million in 2021 to 66 million in 2040, the appetite for the metal is understandably high. However, Cobalt is a unique commodity because it’s primarily controlled by only two countries: China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC supplies about 70 percent of the world’s Cobalt, but 80% of its industrial cobalt mines are owned or financed by Chinese companies. This dynamic has disproportionately favored China and has led to hostility among the Congolese government and its domestic mining companies.