The plummeting price of cobalt has been blamed for the closure of the giant Mutanda mine, but other factors are at play. Owner Glencore is struggling to get the DRC’s new president to overturn a 50% super-profits tax.
Cobalt — a byproduct of copper and nickel in mining activities — is an essential component in electric car and mobile phone batteries. The metal was supposed to help Glencore, the world’s largest miner, to ride the electro-mobility and smartphone boom.
But a sudden 40% collapse in the price of cobalt prompted the British-Swiss multinational to announce earlier this month the temporary closure of its massive Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continue Reading →