Cobalt in the Green Recovery: A Sustainable Future

As the global economy, and society, start to recover from the Covid pandemic, it is clear that the recovery must be sustainable and resilient. Cobalt has a strong role to play in the green recovery and the wider energy transition.

The 2021 (virtual) Cobalt Conference will discuss the role of cobalt in ensuring a sustainable future. During the conference, the various sessions will examine all aspects of the cobalt value chain and exchange views on how the industry is positioning itself to address the upcoming challenges.

We will discuss the Cobalt market over the last 12 months, the supply and sourcing of cobalt. A special focus will be given to the critical role of cobalt in enabling electric mobility across the globe: the latest European legislative and regulatory developments impacting the battery value chain, as well as the Chinese perspective on it.


Welcome and Opening Speech 

  • Adam McCarthy, President, Cobalt Institute
  • David Brocas, Chair of the Cobalt Institute Executive Committee and Lead Cobalt Trader, Glencore

Keynote speech 

  • Joseph Ikoli Yombo Y’Apeke, DRC Secretary General of Mines & President of Cistema

Session 1: Cobalt Market Review and Impact of Covid19 

This session will review the Cobalt Market in 2020, examine the impact of the COVID19 pandemic and look at the drivers for the market in 2021.


  • Ying Lu, Senior Market Analyst, Roskill – Cobalt Institute 2020 Cobalt Market Report

Panel discussion

  • Caspar Rawles, Head of Price Assessments, Benchmark Minerals
  • David Brocas, Head Cobalt Trader, Glencore
  • Prof. Xu Aidong, Chief Engineer of Beijing Antaike Information Co., Ltd.
  • Gregor Spilker, Director Metals/Energy Research & Product Development, CME Group
  • Vikki Roberts, Head of Supply Chain Strategy – Battery Materials, Johnson Matthey

Moderated by David Weight, Past President, Cobalt Institute


Lunch Talk: What will drive the cobalt market in the medium term? 

  • Harry Fisher, Senior Analyst, CRU
12.35 Break

Session 2: Cobalt Supply 

As demand for Cobalt continues to increase, this session will look at current Cobalt resources and reserves, the challenges in extracting them and plans to do so.


  • Honourable Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands – Development of Seabed Resources

Panel Discussion

  • Stefan Horn, PhD Student, British Geological Survey – Cobalt Reserves and Resources
  • William Adams, Head of Base Metals & Battery Research, Fastmarkets
  • Benedikt Sobotka, Group CEO, Eurasian Resources Group
  • Trent Mell, CEO & President First Cobalt
  • Assheton Carter, Founder & CEO, TDI Sustainability
  • Colin Hamilton, Managing Director – Commodities Research. BMO Capital Markets

Moderated by Adam McCarthy, President, Cobalt Institute

14.45 Break

Responsible Sourcing Afternoon 

Keynote speech: Jean-Dominique Takis, CEO, L’Entreprise Générale du Cobalt


Session 3: ASM Contribution to Sustainable Development 

This session will consider the contribution of ASM to sustainable livelihoods and look at how the industry is engaging collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes on the ground.


  • Benjamin Katz, Policy Analyst, OECD. Challenges and opportunities sourcing cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Panel Discussion

  • Luc Lenge Asosa, Program Director, Pact DRC
  • Jared Connors, Assent Compliance, Senior SME – Corporate Social Responsibility
  • James Nicholson, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Trafigura
  • Rachel Zhou, Deputy General-Secretary, Responsible Cobalt Initiative
  • Alex Cech, Senior Project Manager, Responsible Minerals Initiative
  • Anne-Marie Fleury, Sustainability and Product Stewardship Specialist, Glencore Copper

Moderated by Susannah McLaren, Head of Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability, Cobalt Institute


Screening of film “The wrong direction : Are concerns about electric cars just fake news? ” and Q&A with Marc Muller, producer, Nous Production

Moderated by Marina Demidova, Communications Manager, Cobalt Institute

Full documentary available at this link.

17.30 End of Day 1

his second day of the conference will focus on the largest application for Cobalt, batteries. In particular, the discussions will focus on European legislation which will impact the battery sector and the use of Cobalt.


10.00 Welcome and Introduction by Peter Vis, Senior Advisor, Rud Pedersen
10.10 Keynote Speech by Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, Director, DG GROW, European Commission

Session 1: Battery Regulation

Video welcome from Lisa Murkowski, US Senator for Alaska


  • Michael Greenfield, Market Reporter and Dalila Ouerghi, Commodities, Fastmarkets – Impacts of the Regulation on Markets

Panel Discussion

  • Mattia Pellegrini, Head of Unit, European Commission
  • Maria Spyraki, MEP
  • Pia Alina Lange, Head of Internal & External Communications, Recharge
  • Jan Tytgat, Director Government Affairs, Umicore

Moderated by Mike Blakeney, Senior Manager for Government and Public Affairs, Cobalt Institute


Coffee Talk: A Chinese Perspective on the Regulation and Impact on European Markets


  •   Vicky Zhao, Senior Analyst, Fastmarkets

Panel Discussion

  • Bryce Lee, Head of CSR, Huayou Cobalt
  • Julie Liang, ESG Director, CMOC
  • Zhenzhong Zhang, Director, International Cooperation Department, GEM (WUHAN) Power Battery Recycling Co., ltd
  • Tina Hu, Purchasing Manager, Hunan Brunp
12.45 Break

Session 2: Cobalt Chemicals Management and Impact on Batteries


  • Veronika Jezso, Policy Officer, European Commission DG GROW

Panel Discussion

  • Violaine Verougstraete, Chemicals Management Director, Eurometaux
  • Tuulia Svanehav, Chemical Compliance Manager, Northvolt
  • An Hagenaars, Global Manager Chemicals Compliance, Umicore
  • Jonathan Buston, Principal Scientist, UK HSE

Moderated by Caroline Braibant, Head of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Cobalt Institute


Benchmark Workshop: Cobalt’s life cycle: The benefits cobalt brings to the lithium ion battery supply chain


  • Caspar Rawles, Head of Price & Data Assessments – Benchmark


  • Greg Miller, Analyst – Benchmark
  • Ash Lazenby, Cobalt Trading / Marketing
  • Trent Mell, President, CEO & Director – First Cobalt Corp
  • Ajay Kocchar, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Executive Director – Li-Cycle

Register here.

16.35 Closing Speech by Professor Kristin A. Persson, University of California, Berkeley
17.00 Closing Speech by Dr Mike McKittrick, US Department of Energy
17.30 Conference close

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