The Investing News Network caught up with Anthony Milewski, CEO of Cobalt 27 Capital, at this year’s Lithium Supply and Markets conference to get more insight on the cobalt market.
Speaking about cobalt supply, Milewski said he expects a number of cobalt projects to come on stream in the next few years, which will help supply the demand from the electric car sector.
“The key risk from my perspective is not price, it’s not “is there enough cobalt?” Instead, it’s just simply risk associated with concentration and concentration in a difficult place —namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),” he added.
Most of the world’s cobalt production is mined in the DRC, a politically-unstable country where mining has been often linked with human right abuses and child labor.
“I think that the industry is going to have to develop a solution for monitoring cobalt all the way back to really the first shovel of dirt in order to give confidence to the entire supply chain that we’re not actually putting this conflict cobalt into our devices,” he said.
“I think it’s much ado about nothing, so much air time and noise gets given to this topic but if you actually are able to sit down with battery makers and really talk with them off the record, we hear the same thing over and over and over again which is the overwhelming majority of CAPEX is going into the nickel–manganese-cobalt (NMC) battery,” he said.
Cobalt 27’s CEO also mentioned some of the factors that cobalt-focused investors should keep an eye out for in the next few months.
“If you’re an automaker and one of your competitors, whether it’s directly or through the battery maker, secures its basic material, raw material needs, I think it starts to put pressure on you and so, I anticipate that one of the drivers of interest for Q3 and Q4 this year is going to be long term agreements from battery makers and carmakers starting to come into the market,” Milewski said.
Listen to the interview above to learn his thoughts on electric cars, cobalt recycling and what’s ahead for his company in 2018. And don’t forget to check out the Investing News Network’s other Lithium Supply and Markets conference interviews.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: 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.