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Cobalt Mining in the Congo (Essay Sample)


Watch Star Trek episode, The Cloud Minders (season 3, ep. 21)
Compare/contrast with the cobalt mining situation shown today
Write a 2-3 page paper comparing/contrasting at least 6 points between the show and today’s situation in the Congo.


Cobalt Mining in the Congo
Cobalt Mining in the Congo
Cobalt is one of the most valuable and sought-after elements in the world today due to a wide range of application in various sectors of the global economy. The metallic element is bluish-grey and mostly mined or dug up from the crustal rocks in the cobalt-rich regions or countries around the World. The Democratic Republic of Congo accounts for approximately 60% of the world’s supply of the precious metal CITATION Con18 \l 1033 (Conca, 2018). Among the various applications of Cobalt include the production of the lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones and electric cars, which represent two of the most lucrative industries in the global economy. The metal also finds use in the manufacturing of high-speed cutting tools as well as an integral element in the production of magnetic steels and alloy for gas turbine generators. The outlined uses of cobalt attract a lot of attention to the African country that that languishes in poverty, corruption, and internal civil strife through the never-ending wars. The miners, commonly referred to as the ‘creuseurs’ get exposed to hazardous working environments affecting their health and well-being CITATION Con18 \l 1033 (Conca, 2018). Child labor is also prevalent in the cobalt mines as it is perceived as a lucrative economic activity. The highlighted conditions and factors facilitating the deteriorating conditions are synonymous to those portrayed of the miners in Star Trek’s, The Cloud Minders episode. A comparative analysis of the cobalt mining situation in the Congo and that of the miners in the series highlights some of the common features on the state, and the plight of the people found down the chain of production.
In the Star Trek episode of the Cloud Minders, Zenite appears to be an essential element whose availability is crucial to the survival of another world in the Federation CITATION Jud69 \l 1033 (Taylor, 1969). The Enterprise refers to the governing body like the United Nations whose role is to maintain a harmonious coexistence among its member nations. One of the similarities between the show and the situation in DRC is that both build on the premise of an important mineral upon which some of the leading industries depend for survival. Like Zenite, cobalt is vital for the survival of the electric car and smartphone industries CITATION Con18 \l 1033 (Conca, 2018).
Secondly, the Zenite miners live in poor condition in the planet Ardana whe

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