To get more insight on the cobalt market, the Investing News Network caught up with Trent Mell, CEO and president of First Cobalt, at this year’s Cathodes conference.
Cobalt, a key element in the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric cars, has had an interesting year, with metal prices falling despite a strong demand outlook for the metal.
Speaking about how cobalt has performed this year, Mell said there has been a big pullback in the equity market, in part due to volatility.
“The [performance of] the equity market was a surprise and a disappointment this year,” Mell said. But he expects investor optimism to return to the sector, although that might happen next year.
“[Despite that,] our story has gotten stronger, we had an acquisition earlier this year. Everything we are doing internally is giving me optimism,” he said.
Mell also shared his thoughts on new cathode technologies, which might reduce cobalt use in batteries.
“Cobalt has a place in the battery … I don’t think you will take cobalt out of the batteries for the next 10 years,” he said, adding that reducing cobalt content could mean the batteries get cheaper. That could help the penetration of electric cars, which would also be positive for cobalt.
The CEO of First Cobalt, which has operations in North America, also shared why Idaho is a key geographical area. Mell said that developing a project in North America is positive because it is outside of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and also outside China.
“Most of the bulk of the cobalt market starts in Congo, with most of the refining done in China, so when you are in the middle of a trade war, as the US is right now, having a story that is also independent of that activity is helpful as well,” he said.
Listen to the interview above for more insight from Mell, including what’s ahead for the cobalt market and what milestones are on the horizon for First Cobalt. You can also click here to listen to our full Cathodes interview playlist on YouTube.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: First Cobalt is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in contributed article. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.