Eoin Treacy's view -
The Democratic Republic of the Congo today has six of the top 10 cobalt mines globally. Due primarily to Chinese investment, by 2022, the central African nation will host the nine largest cobalt producers. Congo also holds half the world’s reserves.
Not only is primary production highly concentrated, but the downstream industry is beginning to resemble a monopsony. China, despite having no cobalt resources of its own, is responsible for 80% of the world’s cobalt chemical production, which overtook metal production around four years ago.
Glasenberg told FT Chinese refiners and processors "will have most of the offtake of cobalt":
They’re not going to sell batteries to the world, more than likely they’ll produce batteries in China and sell electric vehicles to the world,” Mr Glasenberg told the conference.
Despite the fact cobalt prices have surged there is no such thing as a cobalt mine. It is almost exclusively a by-product of copper and nickel mining. The Congo/Zambian copper belt therefore is the primary source of cobalt while it is a by-product of other mining operations all over the world.
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