Glencore flags sharp rise in cobalt production – by Neil Hume (Financial Times -January 31, 2018)

Cobalt prices have soared amid rising demand for batteries to power electric vehicles

Glencore, the Swiss miner and commodity trader, has flagged a big increase in cobalt production as one of its biggest copper mines restarts production.

The London-listed group said it expected to produce around 39,000 tonnes of the metal this year, up from 27,400 tonnes last year, as its Katanga mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo come back on stream following a big investment programme.

The mine was closed in 2015 so that Glencore could upgrade its processing facilities. The company estimates it could produce as much as 20,000 tonnes of cobalt a year by 2019.

Cobalt is produced alongside copper and other metals such as nickel. The metal, which is needed to make batteries, has soared in price over the past year as the world’s largest car markets have announced plans to plough billions of dollars into developing electric vehicles.

Some analysts think increased supplies from Glencore will help cool the red hot market over the next year, although questions remain over how the industry will source enough material in the long term if there is widespread adoption of EVs.

For the rest of this article: