Significantly, cobalt is critical to the world’s electrification with more than 65% of the world’s cobalt currently consumed in the manufacture of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in portable electronics, energy storage systems and most significantly electrical vehicles (EVs). Cobalt gives EV batteries the required energy density to maintain range and durability whilst remaining light weight and retaining thermal stability, safety and fast charging rates. Cobalt’s critical role in EVs and the continued growth of the EV market in response to emissions targets is identified as the biggest growth area for cobalt in years to come, and the main catalyst behind the demand for cobalt and its recent dramatic price increase.
Global consumption of cobalt is forecast to rise from around 156,000 tonnes in 2021 to greater than 400,000 tonnes in 2030. With a supply deficit currently prevailing in the cobalt market, further and substantial shortfalls in cobalt supply are forecast over the same period. Hence the outlook for the cobalt price is strong. During 2021 the cobalt price quoted on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose from US$33,000/t to US$82,000/t in May 2022.
With more than 80% of the world’s cobalt being sourced from developing countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (71%), and with increasing demand for reliable supply chains and ethically sourced materials, Koba is well positioned to meet investors’ expectations as it is deliberately focussed on pursuing opportunities in North America.
Global economies, including the USA, are allocating significant proportions of funding towards policies and technologies to speed up the transition to low emission economies, including considerable investment in renewable energy and EVs. As a significant component in modern battery systems, cobalt has an important role to play in this transition.