In the cobalt mining areas of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, babies are being born with horrific birth defects. Scientists and doctors are finding increasing evidence of environmental pollution from industrial mining, which, they believe, may be the cause of a range of malformations, from cleft palates to some so serious the babies are stillborn.
More than 60% of the world’s reserves of cobalt are in the DRC and this mineral is essential for the production of electric car batteries, which may be the key to reducing carbon emissions and slowing climate change.
The Cost of Cobalt features the doctors treating the children affected and the scientists who are measuring the pollution. Cobalt may be part of the global solution to climate change, but in this film we ask, Is it right that Congo’s next generation pay the price with their health? Many are hoping that the more the world understands the plight, the more pressure will be put on the industry here to clean up its act.