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Dikembe Mutombo is leading a $ 1 billion investment to modernize mining in the Congo and build an electric vehicle supply chain

By

Andrew Cohen

April 30, 2021

BlueTech Investments, a private equity firm led by Hall of Fame basketball player Dikembe Mutombo, is investing $ 1 billion in ethical mining projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The funds are intended to support the conflict-free mining of copper, cobalt and other minerals that are needed to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.

BlueTech’s investment, which aims to develop the Congo as a secure supply chain for US electric vehicle manufacturing and the broader US technology sector, will create more than 5,000 jobs for Congolese citizens.

Mutombo’s homeland of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to 68% of the world’s cobalt reserves, a key metal in powering batteries for electric vehicles. However, cobalt mining in the Congo is plagued by corruption, child labor exploitation and other human rights violations.

BlueTech’s investment includes plans to implement a blockchain network in the Congo that will track minerals throughout their lifecycle, making the mining process more transparent. The local authorities in the Congo could ideally access the blockchain to uncover possible corruption.

“BlueTech promotes environmentally conscious mining as well as blockchain-integrated track-and-trace methods, measures to combat corruption and the elimination of the exploitation of child labor,” says BlueTech on its website.