Global Slice 🌍: Cobalt



[ The below are from 10 minerals.docx ]


7.1 million

DR Congo’s cobalt reserves account for nearly half of the world’s reserves. Australia, in second place, holds an 1.4 million tonns of the global cobalt re-serves. 140,000 DR Congo: more than 70% of global output (2019) = 100,000
Russia: 6,100 = around 4% of the global share (Diversified Russian miner Norilsk Nickel (or Nornickel) is the country’s top producer. Gulinskoye Nickel Cobalt Project, Norilsk-1 Project, Maslovskoe Project, and Kingashsky Project are other Russian ven-tures that have reached exploration stage).
Australia: 5,100 = around 3.6% of global production, but with known reserves totalling 1.2 million tonnes according to the USGS – second-only to the DRC – it is well-positioned to sustain higher levels of output in the com-ing years, if investment is forthcoming. Glen-core’s Murrin-Murrin mine located in the north-eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia is currently the single-largest cobalt operation in the country).
Philippines: 4,600 = around 3.3% of the global share (The country has the world’s fourth-largest known cobalt reserves, total-ling 260,000 tonnes. Major cobalt operations in the Philippines include the Adlay-Cagdianao-Tandawa Project owned by CTP Construction and Mining, and the Agata DSO open-cut project located in Tubay, Agu-san del Norte.)
Cuba: 3,500 = 2.5% of the global share (The country has the third-largest known reserves of the metal, measured at 500,000 tonnes, the majority of which are located in the Moa re-gion to the east of the country and are ex-tracted alongside nickel mining operations. A joint venture between Canadian miner Sherritt International and General Nickel Company of Cuba produces the metal via open pit mining at deposits in the the Moa region, which are transported to Canada to be refined at a facility in Fort Saskatchewan, Al-berta.)
Madagascar: 3,300 = 2.4% of the world to-tal (home to 120,000 tonnes of cobalt re-serves. Mining in the country largely centres around the $8bn Ambatovy nickel and cobalt project – a partnership between Japanese trading company Sumitomo and Korea Resources. The Ambatovy project is the largest foreign investment in Madagascar, and has made nickel and cobalt important exports for the country. Ore is extracted from two deposits, known as Ambatovy and Analamay, and transported to a refining facility 220km away via slurry pipe.
Papua New Guinea: 3,100 = 2.2% of global cobalt supply (The Ramu nickel and cobalt operation in Madang Province – a joint ven-ture between Metallurgical Corporation of China and Canada’s Nickel 28 (formerly known as Conic Metals) – is a major source of activity in the country. Another nickel/cobalt project in the Papua New Guinea, known as Mambare, is in the early stages of approval.)
Canada: 3,000 tonnes (Canada’s cobalt pro-duction declined by almost 15% in 2019 to total 3,000 tonnes. Despite ranking eighth on the list of the biggest cobalt-producing coun-tries, it is home to significant reserves, meas-ured at 230,000 tonnes – indicating potential for further mining activity. Majors Glencore and Vale both operate significant projects in the country, including the Voisey’s Bay, Rag-lan, Thompson and Fraser mines. Interest has grown in Canada’s cobalt potential as elec-tronics manufacturers across North America seek supply chains for the metal that can cir-cumvent the DRC and China’s dominance over production and processing.)
Cobalt (Co) is a metal used in numerous diverse com-mercial, industrial, and military applications, many of which are strategic and critical. On a global basis, the leading use of cobalt is in rechargeable battery elec-trodes. Superalloys, which are used to make parts for gas turbine engines, are another major use for cobalt. Cobalt is also used to make airbags in automobiles; catalysts for the petroleum and chemical industries; cemented carbides (also called hardmetals) and dia-mond tools; corrosion- and wear-resistant alloys; dry-ing agents for paints, varnishes, and inks; dyes and pigments; ground coats for porcelain enamels; high-speed steels; magnetic recording media; magnets; and steel-belted radial tires.

Cobalt is growing in significance as efforts accelerate to cut carbon emissions through deep electrification.

Click to access mcs2020-cobalt.pdf

Profiling the world’s eight largest cobalt-producing countries

Cobalt Production

Total cobalt mined in 2017 was … tonnes. Divided equally between all 7.5 billion people, this would be … per person; divided between 10 million, …; divided between 12.5 billion, ….

The top 10 producing countries are listed and charted below. Click the “▶Remaining countries” legend under the chart to see the others.

Data as above, but charted.
▶Remaining countries
Data as above, but for the remaining countries.