BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Roughly seven weeks after leaving office, former Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has joined the board of a Canadian mining company that is expanding into Idaho.

The Idaho Statesman reports Otter will be on the board of directors for First Cobalt, a Toronto-based company with a cobalt project southwest of Salmon, Idaho, called Iron Creek. The area, known as the Idaho cobalt belt, is one of the most cobalt-rich areas in North America.

The metal is a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and electronic devices.

In a prepared statement Otter says Idaho's Cobalt Belt is strategically important so America can reduce reliance on foreign sources of critical minerals.

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