(Yicai Global) May 8 -- Chengtun Mining Group Co. plans to set up a USD1 million cobalt resource exploitation unit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as part of the firm’s efforts to ensure a long-term supply of raw materials for new energy vehicle (NEV) batteries in China.
The new subsidiary, located in Likasi, Katanga province, will carry out land acquisition, exploitation, and production management, the Xiamen-based firm said in a statement, adding that it aims to develop its own mines in the African country.
As some of the world’s leading economies look to prohibit sales of traditionally-fueled vehicles, the battle is on for carmakers to advance NEVs and capitalize on the growing sector. Cobalt can increase the energy density of lithium batteries, the most common power source for electric cars, and improve the range of the vehicle they are placed in.
More than 60 percent of global cobalt ore products are made in the Congo. Switzerland-based Glencore Plc is the world’s largest producer, followed up by China Molybdenum Co. China’s refined cobalt production makes up more than 80 percent of the global total.
Chengtun Mining’s cobalt resources mainly come from existing material reserves, supplies from rented mines as well as qualified suppliers at present.
Editor: William Clegg