The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the largest cobalt reserves in the world, at some 3.6 million metric tons as of 2021. As the total global cobalt reserves amount to 7.1 million metric tons, this means that the DR Congo’s cobalt reserves account for nearly half of the world’s reserves of metal. Australia, in second place, holds an impressive 1.4 million metric tons of global cobalt reserves.
NOT SO RARE, YET COVETED
Although cobalt is not especially rare, ranking 32nd in global abundance among metals, it has become an increasingly important commodity due to its use in batteries, as well as in alloys, chemicals and ceramics, cemented carbides, and more. It is forecasted that in 2025, the global demand for cobalt for use in batteries will amount to 117,000 tons, with a further 105,000 tons demanded for other uses. Cobalt’s use in batteries applies particularly to the batteries for electric cars, which has transformed the demand for this metal and increased the price considerably.
U.S. COBALT CONSUMPTION
In the United States, the largest share of cobalt was consumed through the production of superalloys, followed by chemical and ceramic uses, then steel (and other) alloys, and cemented carbides.