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Ex-Microsoft manager lands Responsible Cobalt Initiative role

Reuters  |  BEIJING 

(Reuters) - A former for in has been named as the of the Responsible Initiative (RCI), which works to address social and environmental risks in the supply chain.

Christina Feng, who managed the U.S. tech giant's programme for the responsible sourcing of raw materials until January 2017, was appointed to the full-time role earlier this month and will be based in Beijing, Feng said in an interview with late on Wednesday.

The 28-member RCI, which groups high-profile users such as Apple Inc, and Volvo, was established under the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Metals, and Exporters (CCCMC) in 2016.

It is currently in the process of selecting a premises for its secretariat in the Chinese capital.

Cobalt, a used in lithium-ion batteries for and electric vehicles (EVs), has shot to prominence in recent months and its price has skyrocketed due to expected growth in demand from the booming EV sector, especially in

But has warned of human rights abuses, including child labour, linked to in the (DRC), which produces more than 60 percent of the world's

"I consider my role as being responsible for the operations of the secretariat, defining the strategy of the and developing work plans in consultation with board members and other member companies," Feng told

"I think right now the priority is to really define our strategy" for at least the next three years after a long formalisation process, she added.

The is currently chaired by the CCCMC, with China's Zhejiang Huayou Co Ltd and Germany's as vice chairs.

Feng said she has never been to the DRC but is planning a visit. The child labour issue is "on the top of our radar" but a "complicated issue in the DRC context," she added.

The intends to hold an open session for market participants at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a key backer of the RCI, in in mid-April, said Feng.

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 29 2018. 10:25 IST