WA mining companies want to exploit the red-hot demand for cobalt with prices set to escalate in the next four years.
Commodities research group CRU has forecast global demand for refined cobalt will exceed the 100,000-tonne mark for the first time in 2017. And it could exceed 150,000 by 2025.
The metal is used in smartphones, laptops and aircraft engine superalloys, and is a major component in lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars.
MineLife senior resource analyst Gavin Wendt said there was growing excitement around the lithium-ion battery market. “As a result investors are looking at the commodities that could benefit from surging demand for these particular batteries,” he said.
“The commodity that’s least well known is cobalt, because lithium has been a star. It has a very significant role to play as a constituent in lithium-ion batteries.”
The trouble with sourcing cobalt is the limited number of mines globally. It is currently sourced as a byproduct from nickel or copper deposits.
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