Our Purpose

A multi-stakeholder action platform, the Fair Cobalt Alliance offers actors across the cobalt supply chain a pre-competitive environment for collaboration to help strengthen and professionalise DRC’s artisanal cobalt mining sector and contribute to local economic development at large.

Through collaboration – change is possible.

A Disconnected Source

The demand for cobalt is increasing as its use in batteries and everyday technology grows. Most of the world’s supply of this highly sought-after mineral is produced in the Congolese province of Lualaba, and a significant proportion of that originates from artisanal mines. For communities in the region, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is one of very few easily accessible sources of employment.

ASM provides a livelihood for thousands in a country where many people have no job at all, yet it is  associated with highly hazardous working conditions, systemic child labour, and unfair trading practices taking advantage of local workers selling to traders on the open market.

As it stands, most artisanal miners lack the means and expertise to adopt safer mining practices. While cobalt is heralded as a key ingredient in our global transition to a green economy, it is questionable whether the benefits it generates are being fairly distributed and reaching the communities who take the greatest risks in excavating it at its source.

Proud Members of the FCA

Our Objectives

The FCA drives the development of fair cobalt by supporting the professionalisation of ASM site management, ensuring uptake of responsible mining practices and channelling financial investment into mine improvements. The goal is to make mines safer, minimising environmental impact and creating dignified working conditions for men and women working at the mines.

The occurrence of child labour in mining is a symptom of widespread poverty in the region and is not exclusive to the mining sector. In order to remediate and mitigate child labour in and around ASM sites and throughout local communities, we are working with local cooperatives and civil society to build a scalable child labour referral system to assist mine site operators in establishing effective controls and monitoring mechanisms.

Rather than simply banning children from mine sites, we seek to enable children identified at mines to attend school, benefit from vocational training and access job opportunities for local youth.

We set out to address the root causes that perpetuate high risks associated with artisanal mining: widespread poverty. The need to make a living drives many miners to accept poor working conditions at artisanal mines, often including children that need to contribute to their families’ incomes by working in and around the mine.

In an effort to support the ASM community transition into sustainable livelihoods, we promote investment in programmes outside mining and into opportunities designed to create sustainable livelihoods for as many community members as possible.


Blogging our activities and news since our conception in mid-2020. Here, you will find all our blogs ordered by date so you can easily follow the progress we’ve been making.

We believe in putting people and planet first and the Fair Cobalt Alliance is an important part of our vision. With the energy transition rapidly progressing, the demand for batteries will explode in the coming years. It’s crucial that the practices around cobalt mining are improved to ensure that the materials used in the future are more sustainable and ethically sourced to protect both the environment and local workers. By setting up this initiative, we are also showing the entire industry that a fairer battery is possible.

Tirza Voss, Fairphone’s Sustainable Materials & Mining Manager