Glencore plans to restart operations at its Democratic Republic of Congo Mutanda cobalt mine that also produces huge amounts of copper in 2002, Reuters was told by an insider source.
Glencore, the world’s largest cobalt producer, said three months that the process of restarting production at Mutanda was underway, without specifying a date. Glencore suspend Mutanda in August 2019.
Glencore claims to be one of the world’s leading producers of cobalt – a metal in rising demand thanks to its use in batteries for electric vehicles and portable electronics. It produces cobalt mainly as a by-product of copper mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but also as a by-product of nickel mining in Australia and Canada.
Glencore is also one of the largest recyclers and processors of cobalt-bearing materials, such as used batteries – helping secure the supply of the metal at a time of increasing demand.
Mutanda is a large-scale copper and cobalt operation, in the DRC’s Katanga province, producing cobalt hydroxide and copper cathodes.
Recently, the copper price soared to record highs of above $10,000 a ton whilst the price of cobalt, at $45,000/t, was almost 40% higher since the start of 2021. The price gains are owing to supply-side fears following a sharp rebound in China’s economy.