This is big news
I do not believe the 1500 ton number as this mine produces 1/4 of global supply !!!
Glencore suspends cobalt sales at key DRC mine after uranium found
One of Glencore’s key cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo has halted sales of the battery metal after it found traces of the nuclear fuel uranium on the site.
Katanga Mining, one of the largest cobalt producers in the world, said the amount of uranium in the metal had exceeded the limit allowed to truck it out of the country to ports in east Africa. The mine accounts for around 25 per cent of global cobalt sales, according to RBC.
The stoppage is likely to have an immediate impact on the cobalt market, which is a critical part of the electric car supply chain, due to its use in almost all lithium-ion batteries.
It’s also a blow to Glencore, which restarted the Katanga mine late last year following its suspension in 2015.
Katanga said it will keep producing cobalt but stockpile the metal until it had constructed a $25m Ion Exchange system to remove the uranium, which was likely to be completed by the second quarter of 2019.
A total of 1,472 tonnes of cobalt has so far been impacted by the suspension, Katanga said. The mine produced 3,500 tonnes of cobalt in the third quarter of this year.
“The temporary suspension of cobalt sales during the construction of the Ion Exchange system is expected to negatively impact revenue of Katanga during the fourth quarter of 2018 and the fist and second quarters of 2019,” Katanga said.
The price of cobalt has risen by 11 per cent over the past year to trade at $33.5 a pound, according to Metal Bulletin.
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