Why Cobalt has al­ways been DRC and Zam­bia’s blue Gold

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Did you know that DRC is the world’s largest pro­ducer of Cobalt ac­count­ing for 65% of global pro­duc­tion? Did you also know that Zam­bia is in the top 10 global pro­duc­ers ac­count­ing for 2.5%? DRC and Zam­bia are Africa's top cop­per hotspots ac­count­ing for close to 17% of the worlds red me­tal too. A by- prod­uct of red me­tal min­ing is cobalt which is get­ting me­tal traders ex­cited in Lon­don as it trades at a price 10 times that of cop­per on the LME. See Bloomberg graph be­low show­ing Cobalt rally.

Pric­ing on the Lon­don Me­tal Ex­change

This bullish roar was fu­eled by the elec­tric car era were car mak­ers seek to de­vi­ate from us­ing car­bon fuel in the name of clean en­ergy. Cobalt is used in bat­tery man­u­fac­ture. 2017 saw its price rally over 139% to $78,800/mt lev­els not seen in a decade be­cause me­tal traders have priced-in a rise in de­mand for the me­tal.

Zam­bia and DRC Mines

DRC and Zam­bian mines have cobalt mines which the min­istry of mines needs to re­visit ‘min­ing dec­la­ra­tions’ by min­ing en­ti­ties that con­stantly de­clare cop­per be­cause it is in the cop­per ex­trac­tion that cobalt re­sides. For all we know the by-prod­uct quan­tum could sell for more than the cop­per mined. Zam­bia’s Cop­per pro­duc­tion rose 14% to 852,7456/mt in 2017 and that of DRC 6% to 1.09mln mt. The rationale is that if cop­per pro­duc­tion rally’s so should the bye prod­uct - cobalt.

DRCs cham­ber of mines at the min­ing ind­aba in Cape Town said cobalt rose 15.5% to 73,940mt which Ge­camines seek greater con­trol of by en­gag­ing di­rectly with car/bat­tery mak­ers. A com­mon fac­tor for the both na­tions is that they don’t tan­gi­bly ben­e­fit from the good cop­per and cobalt prices.

The cobalt rally could be sig­nalling bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in both DRC and Zam­bia.

Cobalt is Zam­bia and DRCs blue gold!

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