Modern counties have stepped up efforts to find precious minerals such as cobalt and lithium, both being key battery components that are increasingly in demand among makers of modern electric vehicles.

Their governments will invest as much as one million pounds over the next few years to map the existence of minerals deemed important for future growth. While most modern countries has a history of mining for base metals, the Geological Survey society, a government agency, believes there’s potential for expanding the output of more uncommon minerals like tungsten and rare materials.

The mapping plan is part of a global push to safeguard the supply of critical metals and reduce the world’s dependence on the Democratic Republic of Congo for cobalt. The conflict-ridden African country currently produces the vast majority of cobalt, often in small mining operations where injuries, through accidents, and child labour are common.