Cobalt is used in a wide variety of applications
57% Batteries for electric vehicles, tablets and smartphones
13% Nickel-based alloys
8% Tool materials
The battery sector is increasing dramatically and the use of cobalt compounds in the next 10-15 years is crucial for the rechargeable batteries that are already powering hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs). For these applications cobalt dihydroxide or tricobalt tetraoxide are transformed into lithiated cobalt oxides (LiCoO2 or NMC or NCA) used in the cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt compounds are also used in the electrodes for nickel-based batteries (Ni-Cd and Ni-MH) in the form of chemical precursors for production of cobalt dihydroxide.
The demand for cobalt in electric vehicles and energy storage is set to increase over the coming years.
Mine production of cobalt, by primary product, 2013-2020 (%)