Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Glencore’s CEO Warns Western Automakers About China’s Control of Congolese Cobalt

Headquarters of the Swiss commodity trading giant Glencore in Baar, central Switzerland. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The CEO of the world’s largest cobalt mining company issued a stern warning to U.S. and European automakers that they had better get their acts together to secure supplies of this precious metal or else risk becoming dependent on China for batteries to power their electric vehicles.

Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg told the FT Future of the Car Summit that China had “tied up” lots of cobalt supplies in the DRC and if they want to avoid similar disruptions to their supply chains as they’re now experiencing due to chip shortages, they had better do something about securing supplies of cobalt. Otherwise, he said, they could become entirely dependent on China for a critical part of their new energy vehicle supply chains.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.