Cobalt Firm Says Chinese Car Companies Keen to Secure Supplies (Bloomberg News – April 16, 2018)

Cobalt 27 Capital Corp., owner of the world’s largest private stockpile of cobalt, said it is in talks for potential tie-ups with major Chinese companies seeking to secure supplies of the key metal in batteries powering electric vehicles.

Car and battery makers from China have approached Cobalt 27 to discuss long-term partnerships and supply contracts, Anthony Milewski, chief executive officer of the Canadian firm, said in an interview in Beijing on Monday. Milewski said he has at least 17 such meetings lined up in major Chinese cities over the next three days.

“There’s a lot of interest and it is natural because it is where all this will happen,” Milewski said, declining to identify the companies. “China is going to be the world leader of electric vehicles.”

China is pushing the development of low- or zero-emission cars, with a target to sell 7 million new-energy vehicles a year by 2025.

Sales of battery-powered, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles in China — which surpassed the U.S. in 2015 to become the biggest electric-car market — could jump by more than a fifth to surpass 1 million this year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers estimates.

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