China, cobalt and the Congo: Why Xi Jinping is winning the ‘batteries arms race’ – by Felix Todd ( – April 4, 2019)

Over the past decade, China has established a monopoly over cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the vast majority of the metal resides. In an argent rendition of 1848’s Gold Rush, a single silver-tinged metal has caught the world’s attention: Cobalt.

Critical to the construction of batteries, it has emerged as central to some of the industries set to determine the future. Roughly 10kg of the precious resource is needed to make an electric car, for example, and, without it, the feasibility of grid-scale battery storage is severely compromised.

The vast majority of the planet’s cobalt is located within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where a plethora of interested parties are engaged in a frantic contest for control over mining operations.

That particular race may have already been won, however, as China appears to have established a monopoly over the metal in the politically unstable region.

Here Global Data’s Mike Orme, a senior analyst with the market intelligence firm’s thematic research team, shares his thoughts on the matter. China is in pole position to win the battery arms race, and with it hold the balance of power in the automotive and energy storage industries.

For the rest of this article:

Comments are closed.