It is very unlikely that anyone, or hardly anyone, will experience a glare like that of Audrey Hepburn at Tiffany’s diamonds if you stop in front of a sample of… cobalt. Perhaps you will find the indigo hue of the chemical element that falls under number 27 on the periodic table strange.
However, after a brief glance, curiosity will give way to disinterest. Another is the story when someone who has looked at cobalt almost with indifference finds out that The world’s richest men they are behind the few mines of this coveted metal.
For Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates, gaining ownership or exploitation of cobalt mines has become an obsession, since the lithium-ion batteries that are built into all smartphones and electric cars, for example, depend directly on cobalt. It may not look like gold, silver or sapphire, but this bluish metal is not only valuable, but essential to the contemporary world that speaks in terms of iPhones and Teslas.
Direct holdings in mines
Recently the company Ko Boldin which Musk, Gates and Bezos —the three billionaires whose combined fortune amounts to 610 billion dollars or, what is the same, half of the GDP of a country like Spain—has taken over 51% of the project Disko-Nuusuaqin Greenland, to drill about three thousand meters, at depths between 150 and 400 meters.
Likewise, Musk has managed to wrest a piece of the cobalt market from China in the mines of Africa, more specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Precisely there, in the former Zaire, 18% of the world’s supply of cobalt is concentrated. With the new business that has closed through the mining activities of the company glencoreMusk has made sure six thousand tons of cobaltfour times more than it used in 2019.
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Why Musk, Bezos and Gates have decided to invest millions in cobalt