Cobalt crunch

There is a crunch coming in Cobalt supply as electric cars become more common. There is 25kg of cobalt in the lithium ion battery pack of a Chevy Bolt. Looking down the track 5 years, let’s say that 10% of 78 million cars sold world wide are electric. This will require 195,000 tonnes of additional Cobalt supply each year. Currently the total world production is only 123,000 tonnes, all of which is already needed to make items such as aircraft parts.

Most of the worlds production of Cobalt currently comes as a by product of Nickel mining. There are very few Cobalt deposits around the world that are higher than 0.2% contained Cobalt. At a grade of 0.1% Cobalt, the world would need to mine an additional 150 million tonnes of Cobalt ore each year, equivalent to around 50 new mines.

Then of course eventually almost all cars will be electric, so then we will need 500 more Cobalt mines.