Due to the detection of excessive radioactive element uranium in the ore, the international mining giant Glencore recently decided to suspend the export of its cobalt ore in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (hereinafter referred to as the Democratic Republic of the Congo), which led to a rebound in international cobalt prices. IHSMarkit market consulting agency predicts that this will lead to a rapid recovery of battery raw material prices by about 30%. In recent years, as the global electric vehicle market continues to heat up, the demand for ternary lithium batteries has increased significantly. Cobalt is one of the important cathode materials in ternary lithium batteries, but resources are scarce, and the price has been rising since 2017. On the one hand, the price of cobalt continues to rise, and on the other hand, subsidies are gradually withdrawing. The positive electrode material of ternary lithium batteries "high nickel and low cobalt" has become an inevitable development trend. Following the development of low-cobalt batteries by Panasonic and Tesla, chemical giants BASF and Johnson Matthey recently stated that a new battery technology can significantly reduce cobalt content.
Rising cobalt prices make it difficult to guarantee supply
After Glencore announced that its cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had suspended exports due to high uranium content, Capital Economics released a report predicting that this would push cobalt prices to reach 7 per ton by mid-2019. Ten thousand U.S. dollars.Also read:eve 280ah cells
An analyst at Capital Economics pointed out: "Given the development of this incident, we are raising our short-term forecast for cobalt prices. By the middle of next year, the cobalt market will be tighter than we expected." The price will rise further, reaching US$80,000 per ton by the end of 2020, mainly due to the growth in demand for batteries.
So far this year, Glencore has produced a total of 25,700 tons of cobalt at its mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In July, the company said it expected its annual production to reach 40,000 tonnes by the end of the first quarter of 2019. This figure accounts for 1/3 of the world's total production. Congo (Kinshasa) produces more than 60% of the world's total cobalt, and this proportion will continue to rise in the next five years.
Reducing the cobalt content in ternary batteries will help reduce dependence on Congo (DRC) cobalt mines. The political turmoil in Congo (Kinshasa) and the country's illegal use of child labor and poor mining working conditions have also caused headaches for multinational companies, including automakers such as BMW and Volkswagen Group that have business contacts and relationships with the local area . At present, the supply chain end of the above-mentioned multinational companies involved is under strict scrutiny by the national regulatory authorities.
From 20% to 10% to 4%
As new energy vehicles are in the ascendant in many regions of the world, the purchase price of cobalt has risen, which has become a constraint on the development of new energy vehicles. Many automakers and battery companies are developing new technologies in an attempt to reduce the proportion of cobalt in ternary lithium battery materials.View more details:500ah lithium battery
At present, the ratio of nickel-cobalt-manganese/aluminum for ternary lithium battery cathode materials on the market is mostly 5:2:3 or 6:2:2. Industry insiders pointed out that the ratio of nickel-cobalt-manganese/aluminum for the cathode material of ternary lithium batteries will develop in the direction of 8:1:1 in the future.
Recently, Kenna Sahin, a doctor of MIT and a technology entrepreneur, said that he and his R&D team have developed an innovative technology for lithium-ion batteries, which can reduce the content of cobalt in lithium-ion batteries. The new material he invented can reduce the proportion of cobalt in the positive electrode of lithium batteries from nearly 20% to 4%, which will greatly reduce the cost of electric vehicles.
According to Kenna Sahin, the lithium-ion battery technology it has developed could improve the performance of electric vehicles in the next few years. The main feature of the above-mentioned technological innovations is the reduction of the use of cobalt element, which can reduce the cost and