They are among the names of a lawsuit filed in the United States that accuses them of "knowing" that the
Cobalt used in its products could be related to child exploitation.
The case has been presented by the organization
International Rights Advocates on behalf of 14 Congolese families.
The plaintiffs request compensation for the deaths and injuries of children in the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to the association, the deaths occurred in the extraction tunnels or by the collapse of the walls of the mines.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces 60% of the world's cobalt supply.
However, the extraction has been for years in the spotlight of the international community that sees the process plagued by irregularities, human rights abuse, illegal mining and corruption.
UNICEF estimates that there are approximately 40,000 children working in
mines in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
International Rights Advocates argues that companies failed to regulate their supply chains and instead benefited from exploitation.
Lithium battery manufacturers use 45% of the world's cobalt production
The mineral is a key component of the
lithium ion batteries that power electronic devices, such as
It can also be found in aircraft engines, rockets, nuclear power plants, turbines, cutting tools, even artificial hip braces.
It is an essential mineral of modern life.
Combining it with other metals produces alloys that are extremely resistant and stable under extreme temperatures or against corrosive elements.
From 2016 to 2018, the price of cobalt soared from around US $ 26,000 per ton to more than US $ 90,000, although in 2019 prices have fallen sharply.
In addition, the European Union and the United States have labeled cobalt as a key raw material.
A dollar or two a day
It is not surprising that investors have baptized this metal as the "blue gold"
"The technological boom has caused an explosion in the demand for cobalt, but in one of the most extreme contrasts imaginable, cobalt is extracted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – in extremely dangerous conditions – by children who are paid a dollar or two a day, "says the lawsuit.
This extraction process serves "to supply cobalt to devices manufactured by some of the richest companies in the world," he adds.
Other companies listed in the lawsuit are the computer manufacturer Dell and two mining companies, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and Glencore, who own the fields where Congolese families claim their children worked.
Glencore said in a statement to the newspaper
The United Kingdom Telegraph that "does not buy, process or market any handmade ore".
He added that he also "does not tolerate any form of child labor, forced or compulsory."
The BBC contacted Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt to know his point of view, but it has not been possible to get an answer at the moment.
The judicial documents, to which the British newspaper The Guardian had access, give several examples of mining children who were buried alive or suffering injuries after the collapse of a tunnel.
The 14 Congolese families want companies to compensate them for forced labor, emotional distress and neglect in the supervision of the production chain.
In a response to the Telegraph, Microsoft said it was committed to the responsible purchase of minerals and that it always investigates any violations by its suppliers and takes action.
The BBC has also sought comments from Google, Apple, Dell and Tesla.