June 16, 2018

Not So Fast

The use of cobalt in lithium-ion batteries could be discharging to a premature end.

Despite the fact that a whole troop of cobalt explorers has gone off into the field with shovels and drill bits in hand – the presence of cobalt as a critical element in lithium-ion batteries could be surplus to requirements, according to Panasonic, one of the world’s leading battery manufacturers and current partner to the world’s leading electric car maker Tesla.

Cobalt prices have staged an all-mighty up-trend over the past two years, rising from around US$20,000 per tonne in 2016 to about US$80,000/t today. 

Prices reached a high of US$94,000/t in March this year, according to the London Metals Exchange (LME) – and it's largely fear of runaway inflation that is spurring battery manufacturers and end-users such as Tesla to seek alternatives.

Written by George Tchetvertakov
Published by Small Caps