Chile set to revive its dormant cobalt sector (Resource World – March 4, 2019)

Already a major producer of copper and lithium, Chile is gearing up to join the electromobility revolution by reviving its dormant cobalt sector.

During an interview with Resource World Magazine, Chilean Mines Minister Baldo Prokurica said the ultimate goal is for Chile to become a supplier of lithium ion batteries to the global auto sector

In order to achieve that goal, Chile is hoping to become a producer of cobalt in the near future, a move that would enhance the Latin American country’s ability to supply so-called battery metals, including lithium and copper, which are vital ingredients in the production of mobile consumer devices and electric vehicles.

According to a recent Reuters article global, auto makers are gearing up to invest US$300 billion to develop electric vehicles and procure or manufacture batteries over the next five to 10 years. China will be the driving force in the growth of both electric vehicles and battery manufacturing. China is expected to account for 45% of all spending on electric vehicles, the Reuters report said.

By mining cobalt, Chile also is hoping to capitalize on reports that customers in the battery manufacturing industry are looking for alternatives to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), currently the source of 54% of the world’s cobalt supply.

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