Opportunity for Congo as Apple, Tesla and Google Fight For Rare Cobalt
Focus on African nation as Cobalt Price hits 150%
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which produces more than a half of the world’s Cobalt supply now has a bigger and rare opportunity to wash away a negative image from its past civil wars.
Lithium is reportedly no longer the hottest commodity on the planet despite its role in the EV revolution, but Cobalt is even more critical because lithium-ion batteries-despite their name-require more cobalt by weight.
A PR Newswire report says the difference between cobalt and Lithium this time around is that no one’s been paying attention to cobalt and while a flurry of new explorers got in on lithium at the right time, they ignored cobalt, leaving the playing field wide-open for first-in investors.
This, it is now expected, is causing a massive opportunity for first-in investors in cobalt, as major hedge funds start hoarding the physical metal to gain exposure, and this long-overshadowed resource is poised to be more explosive than lithium.
On the other hand the the major supplier of the rare mineral – DRC, has an opportunity to clean up its past image using the immense wealth the nation is expected acquire.
Cobalt is a metal that is critical to the future stock price of everything from General Electric, Apple, Tesla, Amazon, UPS and many more. This development is all thanks to the supply crisis that is all about Cobalt.
In May 2017, it was reported that Apple – the most widely followed stock, stopped buying Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) cobalt because of child labor. Currently, more than half of the world’s supply of cobalt comes from the DRC.
The electric vehicle (EV) revolution has made cobalt one of the most critical elements of our time. Cobalt makes up some 35 percent of the lithium-ion battery mix, but there isn’t enough new supply and what does exist flows through a very controversial and uncertain supply chain. Tech giants including Tesla, Apple and Google, automakers Toyota, General Motors and Ford all fighting over cobalt, nothing would be better-or more valuable-right now than an all-American, ethical source of the metal.
But what is the background to the DRC’s popularity as the worlds leading source of cobalt? It is quite interesting. According to Green Peace, EVs need cobalt, and the leading supplier of cobalt is war-torn DRC, where the mining industry has a legacy of carbon emissions, pollution, habitat destruction and civil rights violations.
However, this might be the time for DRC to shine as it is the nation’s biggest opportunity to use the wealth for good positive purposes. After all, very importantly, the political situation in the Congo influences the price of cobalt significantly on the world market.
A British Geological Survey indicates that between 2005 and 2015, the cobalt supplies rose from 40% world supply share by Katanga Province of DRC to 60% of the world production of 32,000 tons at prices of $20,000 to $26,000 per ton then. But imagine today, analysts are already predicting a 500 percent deficit increase starting next year, and the tight supply figures have caused a panic to breakout.
In general, the mining industry of the DRC is a significant factor in the world’s production of cobalt, copper, diamond, tantalum, tin, and gold as well. It is the DRC’s largest source of export income. In 2009, DRC had an estimated $24 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, including the world’s largest reserves of coltan and significant quantities of the world’s cobalt wikipedia explains.
Today, the top exports of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are Refined Copper ($2.67B), Cobalt ($755M), Cobalt Ore ($666M), Copper Ore ($376M) and Cobalt Oxides and Hydroxides ($302M), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification. Its top imports are Packaged Medicaments ($227M), Refined Petroleum ($207M), Human or Animal Blood ($155M), Delivery Trucks ($114M) and Excavation Machinery ($113M).
It’s a metal that is critical to the future stock price of everything from General Electric, Apple, Tesla, Amazon, UPS and many more. This development is all thanks to the supply crisis that is all about Cobalt.