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Lithium-ion a pawn in economic domination

Posted 2 years ago

The demand for cobalt far out paces its production. Lithium cobalt oxide cathodes consist of 60% cobalt and offer unbeatable energy density. For the Dominican Republic of the Congo (DRC), cobalt is a global political pawn. Manufacturers of rechargeable Lithium-ion battery storage or manufacturers requiring these batteries are locking in cobalt delivery now for the long-term to take advantage of the current dip in the cobalt market. Limits of available cobalt may cause hording or price increases; therefore reduced digital-device and electric-vehicle release speeds and speed for adoption.Precarious and precious cobalt landscape
nSwitzerland’s Glencore with $58 billion in market share is the world’s largest commodity producer with mines in 50 countries and the prime cobalt producer in the DRC. Composites of cobalt can be coupled with other mineral deposits when they come out of the ground. The DRC has a limit on uranium exports that prevents some composites of uranium with cobalt ore being exported. Glencore’s construction of an ion exchange plant would remove uranium from the ore thus allowing more cobalt supply availability for export. Unsuccessfully trying to manipulate and control its most prize commodity, the DRC Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu Labilo, directed Glencore to suspend construction of its $25 million ion exchange plant and in a fit of insanity, ordered suspension of all cobalt concentrate exports. Thankfully, he came to some sense and retracted his last order the very next day.To read this article in full, please click here
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