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Analysts: Chinese Consolidation in the Cobalt Sector Not Likely to Impact Prices

File image of the processing plant at China Molybdenum’s Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Chinese cobalt and copper mining giant China Molybdenum’s recently announced plans to invest $2.5 billion in its already massive Tenke Fungurume Mining (photo) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo prompted new concerns that heightened Chinese control over the cobalt sector would push up prices of the blue metal that’s an essential ingredient in electric vehicle batteries.

But analysts at Roskill, the London-based metals and mining research agency, said in a note to clients that such concerns are unwarranted, given that the cobalt supply chain is already so highly concentrated among DRC mines (60% of world supply) and Chinese processors (80% market share) that these latest investments won’t have a significant impact on prices.

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