China Molybdenum Set to Become Biggest Cobalt Producer

China Molybdenum will become the largest molybdenum, tungsten and cobalt producer after the completed acquisition of a DRC cobalt deposit

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Earlier this month it was announced that China Molybdenum would be purchasing Freeport McMoRan‘s (NYSE:FCX) interest in its TF Holdings Limited for $2.65 billion. This now makes it the largest molybdenum, tungsten and cobalt producer after the completed acquisition.

TF Holdings is a Bermuda holding company which indirectly owns 80 percent interest in the Tenke Fungurume Mining, containing one of the largest copper and cobalt deposits in the world.

The purchase is allegedly the biggest private investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s history, but is poised to benefit China’s supply of cobalt, which is a significant material for the development of electric cars.

This means that companies, such as Tesla Motors, will be heavily relying on supply chains from China as they attempt to increase production of electric cars over the coming years.

In a China Molybdenum press release, its chairman Steele Li said:

We are pleased to have the opportunity to acquire this renowned copper and cobalt mine that is uniquely large-scale, low-cost and long-lived. Tenke is well positioned to generate strong cash flow throughout the commodity cycle and, by virtue of its substantial mineral endowment, to continue producing high-grade copper for decades to come. In addition, as a global leading cobalt producer, Tenke positions CMOC to benefit from the highly favorable near-term and long-term fundamentals of the cobalt market.

Approval of the Tenke mine means that companies in China will produce approximately 62 percent of the global refined cobalt production in 2017 and increasing demand for the material by more than two-thirds over the coming decade.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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