Batteries for traditional car engines are 60% lead, by weight. Smelting lead, either though recycling or from mining, is hazardous for workers and downwind communities, which has been a major driver for closing lead smelters in Eastern China. Since 2017, the government has licensed five lead-acid battery manufactures to smelt lead and produce batteries in the Uyghur Region. The largest of these, Camel Group, has faced sanctions for “frequent blood lead incidents.” Transferred workers from the southern XUAR were subjected to state-sponsored labor transfer and to a “closed” pre-job training involving military and ideological indoctrination.  EV batteries require lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese. China processes 60% of the world’s lithium, with a growing percentage of that refining underway in the XUAR. Xinjiang Asia-Europe Rare Metal is the largest lithium actor in the Uyghur Region, receiving “assigned” workers since at least 2017. Its partners include upstream suppliers of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery producers. 


Raw material processor

Casting, Rolling, Finishing

Parent Company



Anode/Cathode Manufacturer

Pre-cursor Manufacturing

Parts manufacturer

Car manufacturer

Parts distributor