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Cobalt is essentially a by-product of copper and nickel mining and, as the price of these metals has declined, several mines have been idled resulting in reduced cobalt production at a time when demand for cobalt is growing rapidly. It is a mineral found in alloys of meteoric iron. The development of modern electronics which use lithium-ion batteries is shaping the trends for the demand for this mineral. Additionally, subsidies provided by governments and the reopening of mines are likely to attract various investors in exploring the vastly available ores.
Cobalt is found in the Earth's crust only in a chemically combined form and is used in a wide range of applications after a series of treatment and extraction procedures. Today, some cobalt is produced specifically from one of a number of metallic-lustered ores, such as cobaltite. The element is, however, more usually produced as a by-product of copper and nickel mining. A rising inclination towards electric vehicles for reducing carbon emission levels is likely to propel the cobalt mining market demand.
Based on form, global cobalt mining can be trifurcated into chemical compounds, metal, and purchased scrap. The compound segment claims to gain high dividends over the forecast period due to the use of the element in lithium-ion batteries. Its application as a colorant in enamel wear, tiles, glass pottery, and porcelain can augur well for the segment growth. Cobalt is a bright, fragile chemical material used to create powerful alloys, permanent magnets, and hard metals with corrosion and thermal resistance
The increased demand for new energy vehicle-use batteries is further aiding the growth of the cobalt industry. Cobalt is critical to the performance, safety, and longevity of rechargeable batteries. The metal’s unique properties are responsible for the thermal stability of lithium-ion batteries and the integrity of the cathode, both of which are critical factors for safety and performance. A major use of cobalt is in metallurgical applications, in special alloy/superalloy industry, in magnets and cutting tools industries.
However, abrupt fluctuations in the global cobalt prices can obstruct the mining potential of the composite. The changes sparked by inconsistent supplies and demand from the artisanal and industrial sectors along with the availability of a surplus of cobalt chemicals used to make rechargeable batteries to power electric vehicles may hinder the market growth.
Key Market Driver -
Growing cobalt usage for metallurgical and manufacturing uses
Key Market Restraint -
Fluctuations in the international price of cobalt
The key players operating in the cobalt mining market are Jinchuan Group International, Resources Co. Ltd, Freepolt Cobalt, Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd, Sherritt International Corporation, BHP, Eramet, Vale, Votorantim Metals SA, Glencore, Umicore, Missouri Cobalt, LLC, and CMOC International.
Global cobalt mining has been categorized into five key regions including North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. The Asia Pacific region is expected to be lucrative for the cobalt market over the forecast period. The majority of the growth is attributed to the large reserves coupled with increasing production across China. The presence of major leaders and the region acting as an industrial hub for developed economies are likely to bode well for the market. Europe is also likely to observe significant growth over the forecast period due to high mining activities in countries such as Italy, U.K., Russia, and Germany.
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