Due to growing demand, the Jinchuan group plans to augment supply of nickel sulphate by 40 percent this year and to increase cobalt production as well. Both raw materials are a key substance in EV batteries.
Jinchuan seeks to expand the supply of Nickel from lately 50,000 to 70,000 tons per year. When it comes to cobalt, the group intends to increase the related production from 10,000 to 11,000 tons in 2018. However, according to Simon Bao, vice general manager of Jinchuan’s marketing unit, the price for cobalt “has gone up too sharply because of speculation, and the gains are not justified by real demand.”
Just a few days ago, Bloomberg reported that the Democratic Republic of Congo considers more than doubling the tax on cobalt supply. If the Republic’s senate approves the proposition, Congo could classify base metals such as cobalt as ‘strategic material’ due to growing demand resulting from enhanced EV production and tax it at a higher rate of 5 instead of currently 2 percent. That would have major consequences due to the fact that Congo is the world’s biggest cobalt producer, covering two-thirds of global cobalt supply.