The Dependency On China And ‘Blood Minerals’ For EV Batteries Supported By Our Government – OpEd


Many of us had a chance to view the 2006 movie “Blood Diamond” starring  Leonardo DiCaprio that portrays many of the similar atrocities now occurring in poorer developing countries in pursuit of the  those exotic minerals and metals to support the “green” movement within wealthy countries, i.e., “Blood Minerals”.  

The “green” movement continues promoting environmental degradation to landscapes in poorer underdeveloped countries, and imposes humanity atrocities to citizens with yellow, brown, and black skinned workers in those poorer countries being exploited for the green movement of the few wealthy nations. 

Despite the Biden administration declaration in 2022 that batteries from China may be tainted by child labor and a report by the U.S. Labor Department that excoriated “clean energy” supply chains for using forced labor, the march toward more ”blood minerals” continues.

Today, policymakers and EV owners have NO ethical or moral apprehensions of the Clean Energy Exploitations of people that support the supply chain of “blood minerals” for EV batteries!

Short of visiting a mining operation to see for themselves, policymakers and potential EV buyer should read the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses That Support Clean Energy.  The book does an excellent job of discussing the lack of transparency to the world of the green movement’s impact upon humanity exploitations in the developing countries that are mining for the exotic minerals and metals required to create the batteries needed to store “green energy”, and the environmental degradation to their landscapes. 

In those developing countries, those mining operations exploit child labor, and are responsible for the most egregious human rights’ violations of vulnerable minority populations. These operations are also directly destroying the planet through environmental degradation. 

Today, a typical EV battery for a Tesla sedan weighs 1,000 pounds and includes these exotic minerals and metals:  

  • 25 pounds of lithium 
  • 30 pounds of cobalt 
  • 60 pounds of nickel
  • 44 pounds of manganese  
  • 200 pounds of copper  
  • 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic

It should concern everyone that all those “blood minerals” come from mining at locations in the world that are never seen by policymakers and EV buyers. 

The oxymoron to the EV battery supply chain is that both Lithium and Cobalt, the major components of the EV battery, are noted on The Periodic Table of Endangered Elements as having a limited availability or  facing  supply limitations in the coming years due to increased usage.

Here are a few EV “blood mineral” component sources:

  • Lithium: Argentina comprises a significant portion of the so-called Lithium Triangle, which covers northwestern Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, and which is home to more than half of the world’s resources of lithium. This district produces about half of the world’s lithium and hosts approximately 60% of the known lithium reserves.
  • Cobalt: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa is by far the world’s largest producer of cobalt, accounting for roughly 70 percent of global production.
  • Nickel: Indonesia, Australia, and Brazil make up the lion’s share of global nickel reserves.
  • Manganese: Manganese mines can be found all over the world. The highest concentration of reserves and mining activity are in South Africa.
  • Copper: The USA is the second largest producer of copper in the world. The largest copper mine is found in Utah (Bingham Canyon). Other major mines are found in Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, and Montana. In South America, Chile, the world’s largest producer, and Peru are both major producers of copper. EVs are at the forefront of the electrification revolution, account for 55% of copper demand and require 2.5 times more copper than an average internal combustion engine car.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) calculated that the needs for “energy transition minerals” such as lithiumgraphitenickel andrare-earth metals would rise by 4,200%, 2,500%, 1,900% and 700%,respectively, by 2040.


  • A battery for a heavy-duty electric truck can weigh up to 16,000 pounds, which is 16 times more than the Tesla battery !!!! A single truck battery requires 8,000,000 pounds of earth to be dug up. That’s astounding – digging up 8 million pounds of earth for each truck battery!

Shockingly, the California GREEN movement is progressing at warp speed at any cost. 

In 2023, California passed regulations that would turn the trucking industry upside down. Zero emission mandates would disrupt the industry, raise shipping costs, and put trucking companies out of business. A group including 19 states and several trucking organizations recently filed suit to block the California regulation.

A little background on the EV Truck mandate:California’s Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) Regulation went into effect on January 1, 2024. The ACF requires that truck operators buy only Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) trucks for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucking operations as early as January 2024. The ACF also requires that trucking companies transition their fleets to 100 percent ZEV trucks by 2035 to 2042, depending upon class of truck.

Electric trucks at any cost in dollars, and the environmental degradation to landscapes in poorer countries, and the humanity exploitations in those developing countries that are mining for the exotic minerals and metals required to create the batteries needed to store “green energy”, should have conversations about the conundrums associated with this mandate, before implementing a Mandate.

This EV truck mandate lacks conversations about the many conundrums associated with this mandate, i.e., the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about:

  • For those huge EV truck batteries there is virtually non-existing transparency of the environmental degradation and the human rights abuses occurring in developing countries with yellow, brown, and black skinned people.  Both human rights abuses and environmental degradation are directly connected to the mining for the exotic minerals and metals that are required to manufacture those EV batteries. The children used to produce the lithium for an EV battery is appalling.

Public and private conversations are needed to discuss the ethical and moral challenges to support the supply chain of “blood minerals” for EV batteries.

Ronald Stein

Ronald Stein, Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California.

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