Apple is in talks to buy cobalt directly from miners to help shield it from any shortages sparked by the boom in electric cars.
Cobalt is a key mineral used in lithium-ion batteries, and reports say that Apple is looking to secure contracts for several thousand metric tons of cobalt each year for five years or longer.
Its first discussions for deals took place a year ago, but sources have said that Apple might not even go ahead with the plans.
If Apple does end up buying cobalt directly, it will be in competition with car manufacturers and battery makers in locking up supplies of the raw material.
Car giants like BMW and Volkswagen are also searching for multiyear deals to ensure they also have enough cobalt to meet targets in electric car production.