Apple is looking to buy the cobalt used in its batteries directly from the mining companies who dig it up, Bloomberg reports. Apple is one of the largest consumers of the metal—used in the batteries that power its gadgets—but is looking to go directly to the source for the first time amid rising competition from the burgeoning electric vehicle industry. People familiar with the matter said Apple is trying “to secure several thousand metric tons of cobalt a year for five years or longer” in discussions that have been going on for more than a year. While Apple may just stick with relying on its battery manufacturers and scrap the direct buying route, plenty of other companies are going straight to the source. BMW, Volkswagen and Samsung are all working on deals with mining companies to secure their sources, with some signing deals that extend for a decade or more.