By: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Political tensions amidst the wider slump in global commodity markets, look set to continue the onslaught on cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) moving into H2 2016.
Cobalt production in the DRC, home to over 60% of the world’s mined output, is estimated to have fallen by over 20% in Q1 2016 in reaction to falling copper prices.
Now, as battery consumers begin to increase efforts to lock in cobalt chemical supplies for production expansions due to begin as early as next year, the country faces more upheaval as political pressures rise on the incumbent leader, President Joseph Kabila.
Kabila has failed to confirm national Presidential elections following the end of his constitutionally limited two terms in charge, leading to heightened political tensions within a country which has suffered from ongoing civil war since the mid-1990s.
From a cobalt perspective, this is likely to cast more doubt over the sustainability of supplies from the country’s struggling mining sector which has suffered significantly at the hands of the global decline in commodity prices …