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Glencore inks Cobalt supply deal with China’s GEM

Metal News - Published on Mon, 19 Mar 2018

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Investing News reported that mining giant Glencore has signed a cobalt supply deal with Chinese battery recycler GEM. Under the deal, the Swiss trader will sell 52,800 tonnes of cobalt contained in hydroxide to GEM over the next three years. Cobalt is an essential metal in the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric cars.

GEM said that “With the rapid growth of global new energy car production cobalt has become a global resource in short supply.” Consumers are now racing to secure supply.

In fact, cobalt supply will need to reach 180,000 tonnes by 2026 from just 48,000 tonnes in 2016 to fulfill the increasing demand for electric cars, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says.

GEM added that “The company’s need for cobalt is increasing daily, and the company’s recycled cobalt resources cannot satisfy our strategic demand.”

According to a filing by GEM, the company and its subsidiaries will purchase 13,800 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide from Glencore in 2018. They will buy 18,000 tonnes in 2019 and 21,000 tonnes in 2020.

The Chinese company is one of the largest suppliers of the material to CATL, which recently said it has become the largest battery supplier in the world based on last year’s sales.

CATL, which is planning a USD 2-billion IPO next year to boost its production, now provides batteries to car makers such as BMW and Volkswagen.

Glencore, the world’s top cobalt producer, is looking to increase its output this year to around 39,000 tonnes, up from 27,400 tonnes in 2017, as its Katanga mine ramps up in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 19 Mar 2018
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