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SK batteries to become more ethical

Researchers of SK Innovation hold battery cells. (SK Innovation)
Researchers of SK Innovation hold battery cells. (SK Innovation)

SK Innovation, an energy solution affiliate of SK Group, said Tuesday it has joined the Responsible Minerals Initiative to facilitate ethical sourcing of minerals for its battery production.

RMI is a global association established in 2008 that monitors the ethical sourcing of minerals mined in conflict regions including cobalt, a key ingredient for lithium-ion batteries, which are parts for mobile devices and electric vehicles.

Other members include Samsung Electronics, Apple and Tesla.

The membership will allow the energy and chemical company to establish a stronger system for sourcing minerals free from environmental and human rights issues like child labor, the company said.

The company will perform an external due diligence that follows RMI standards on its long-term cobalt supply deal with Glencore, the world’s biggest supplier of cobalt, it added. The six-year deal signed last December supplies SK Innovation with up to 30,000 metric tons of cobalt from 2020 to 2025.

“SK Innovation will voluntarily and preemptively create social values in all stages of batteries including the sourcing of raw materials, production, supply and recycling of them,” said the head of the company’s public relations office.

By Kim Byung-wook (