Cobalt is an essential input in a range of emerging technologies, notably lithium-ion batteries, and over 70% of the global cobalt supply is sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Yet despite its near-monopoly position, the ability of the DRC to influence global prices is negligible due in large part to the multitude of small-scale operators, many of which mine, process, and sell their product outside of the purview of government regulation.

This is something that Kinshasa is now actively trying to change, and if successful, the DRC could one day enjoy the same kind of price-fixing powers that OPEC wields with oil prices.