Cobalt: Rare and Everywhere : Planet Money Cobalt used to be a sideshow on the periodic table. Now it's the main event.
NPR logo Cobalt: Rare and Everywhere

Cobalt: Rare and Everywhere

Cobalt used to be a byproduct of copper mining, used in everyday, boring stuff like tires and magnets.

But that all changed when someone discovered its ability to stabilize the lithium in batteries for electronics like cell phones.

Now it's become one of the most important and sought after metals on the periodic table. Which has implications for big tech firms like Apple.

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