The refinery produces alliage blanc using zinc-rich cobalt
tailings from the Big Hill deposit, which was produced by
previous mining and refining in Katanga province. News of the
possible impact on GTL production, albeit in four
months’ time, is likely to increase focus on
availability, in a market being powered by a predicted
explosion of demand for units from the electric vehicle battery
sector, and the speculative interest that has ensued.
"There’s nothing bearish about it. I
don’t think it will cause the market to shoot up
and on its own it isn’t monumentally significant,
but it is part of a broader bullish theme," one trader said.
The cobalt market has soared this year, with Metal
Bulletin’s benchmark assessment of low-grade
cobalt prices rising to $25-26.50 per lb on April 12, up from
$14.30-15 at the start of the year. Market sources told...