Vedanta explores ways to produce cobalt for batteries – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – August 15, 2017)

LONDON (Reuters) – Vedanta Resources (VED.L) is studying how to produce cobalt for use in batteries as the diversified miner becomes the latest company to seek exposure to an anticipated electric vehicle boom.

Tom Albanese, who steps down as CEO of Vedanta at the end of August, said the excitement around electric vehicles had prompted the company to looking at producing cobalt suitable for batteries from its Zambian copper mines, rather than just treating it as a copper by-product.

Vedanta is also betting on continued use of conventional fuel and in April completed the merger of its Indian metals and mining group Vedanta Limited (VDAN.NS) with oil and gas company Cairn India Ltd (CAIL.NS).

“As cobalt is becoming more exciting, we are looking to determine the right engineering solution to produce cobalt (for batteries) rather than a copper-cobalt alloy,” Albanese said in an interview with Reuters late on Monday. He did not give details on when a study on the issue would be completed.

Vedanta said in a conference call following its interim results last month that it produces around 1,000 tonnes of cobalt-copper alloy per year and in addition aims to produce 3,000 to 4,000 tonnes of pure cobalt per year “going forward”.

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