Glencore Sees Big Jump in Cobalt Supply From Congo Mines – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – July 31, 2018)

Glencore Plc increased cobalt production by almost a third after restarting output at its Katanga unit in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Swiss commodity giant is seeking to double its production of cobalt in the next two years, tightening its grip on the market for the key battery material in electric vehicles. First-half cobalt output jumped 31 percent to 16,700 tons, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

While Glencore is cashing in on higher cobalt and copper demand, it also must confront serious challenges this year. The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a corruption probe into operations in Congo, Nigeria and Venezuela, and it’s facing higher taxes and tougher regulation in Congo.

In its production report today, Glencore maintained most of its full-year targets, with slight reductions to its coal and lead estimates. Copper output rose 8 percent during the first half and nickel production increased 21 percent.

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