A trucker strike in the Democratic Republic of Congo is blocking exports of copper and cobalt mined by multi-national companies.
The drivers, who are predominately from Zambia and Tanzania, are asking for additional payment per journey as danger pay, sources told Reuters. They are refusing to transport the metals from the mining hub of Kolwezi, with a reported 2,700 trucks carrying 89,000 metric tonnes of copper at a standstill.
Copper and cobalt are are fundamental to the global green-energy transition with copper used for power generation and cobalt required for rechargeable batteries.
Affected mines include Switzerland’s Glencore Plc, China’s CMOC Group and Canadian Ivanhoe Mines, with experts predicting a potential tightening of global supplies.
The Central African country is the world’s largest cobalt producer and one of the biggest sources of copper. Almost all the material is trucked by road from south-eastern Congo to Zambia, destined for ports in South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique.