Fortunately, smart entrepreneurs are seeing the huge efficiency and opportunity in recycling over new production. Scientists working for American Manganese Inc., located in the suburbs of Vancouver, are patenting a way to produce enough cobalt to power all the electric cars on the road today without drilling into the ground: by recycling faulty batteries. See: Mining cobalt without going to the congo:
It’s one of many technologies that entrepreneurs are patenting to prepare for a time when electric cars outnumber polluting petrol engines, turning the entire automotive supply chain upside down in the process. Instead of radiators, spark plugs and fuel injectors, the industry will need cheap sources of cobalt, copper and lithium.
“Mining batteries is much more profitable than mining the ground,” said Larry Reaugh, the president of American Manganese, which is patenting a method to draw out all of the metals in rechargeable batteries. “Rather than mining ore that’s 2 percent cobalt, you’re mining a battery that has 100 percent cobalt in it.”