Cobalt Life Cycle
With the sharp increase in demand, driven by a drive to reduce transport emissions, the global supply chain is evolving fast, with new mining operations starting up or expanding in many parts of the world.
Cobalt is not a rare resource
Cobalt is not a rare metal and ranks 32nd in global abundance
Current land sources are estimated to provide well over 100 years of supply
World Cobalt production and reserves in 2019
The global supply chain
The global cobalt supply chain can be summarised by the diagram below
A multi layered value chain
Unlike other metals, cobalt is rarely found in its pure form. A small quantity is produced specifically from one of a number of metallic-lustered ores, such as cobaltite (CoAsS). However, the vast majority comes from ore usually produced as a by-product of copper and nickel mining. An increasing percentage also comes from recycling products that contain cobalt.