Author: Lynsey Chutel
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery helps define our era. It powers our smartphones and electric cars, and promises a future where we’re better able to store renewable energy. It also requires lithium and cobalt, minerals that some of the world’s poorest countries happen to have in abundance. That should be good news for all concerned, but mismanagement and graft—common in extractive industries—are making the latest mining boom look uncomfortably like the bad old days of previous booms.