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Cobalt market tightness will persist this decade

Thursday, July 22, 2021


Demand for cobalt for electric vehicle (EV) use rose last year but offsetting this, the pandemic hit demand for non-EV uses. China’s scramble for supply for EV use led to the price of cobalt hydroxide rising by nearly one-third in the second half of 2020 and by around 50% this year. Demand from non-EV uses is now recovering.


  • Current market nervousness could continue, mirroring the experience of 2017, when refineries struggled to respond to demand.
  • Kinshasa banned shipments of cobalt and copper concentrates in May, although it is unclear how strictly the ban is enforced or will last.
  • Jervois Mining has asked the US government to help it raise some of the USD78.4mn it needs to start its Idaho cobalt-copper-gold deposit.
  • Japan is progressing its plan to mine the cobalt-rich Prime Crust Zone at between 800 and 2,500 metres depth off its southeastern coast.
  • Missouri Cobalt has tapped Goldman Sachs to assist it to list publicly through a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company).

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