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Apple rushes to seal cobalt deals as shortage fears deepen

Instability in Congo, the top source, fuels a race for the battery material

Cobalt is a crucial component in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.

TOKYO -- Smartphone producers and automakers are vying to secure supplies of cobalt, a rare metal used in lithium-ion batteries.

As fears of a shortage grow against the backdrop of soaring demand for electric cars, international cobalt prices have more than tripled over the past two years and are likely to rise further. 

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