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Chinese-Processed Cobalt (Likely From the DRC) Was to Blame For the U.S. Sales Shutdown of the F-35 Fighter Jet

File image of a Lockheed Martin F-35 U.S. fighter jet. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

Sales in the U.S. of the advanced F-35 fighter jet were shut down after it was discovered that a magnet in the plane contained an alloy made with cobalt that was processed in China.

It’s against the law in the U.S. for the Defense Department (DoD) to purchase advanced weapons systems like the F-35 that contain Chinese-sourced materials. The cobalt in question was likely also extracted from a Chinese-controlled mine in the DR Congo.

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