London — Glencore, the top cobalt producer, backed a new initiative to support informal miners in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the industry tries to reassure carmakers about ethically mined supplies of the battery metal.

The company, which has long argued that the vehicles industry is best served by buying cobalt from its industrial mines rather than from informal miners, said Monday that it has joined the Fair Cobalt Alliance. The group aims to end the use of child labour at mining sites and improve working conditions in DRC. It’s also backed by major Chinese cobalt refiner, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co...

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