Glencore’s Katanga operation in Africa held unsold shares of 12,797 tonnes of battery materials cobalt with a present market worth of greater than $400 million on the finish of final 12 months, statements from Katanga present.
Its cobalt shares on the finish of 2018 stood at three,769 tonnes.
Toronto-listed Katanga Mining, principally owned by London-listed Glencore produced 17,054 tonnes of cobalt contained in hydroxide final 12 months and offered solely four,257 tonnes over the identical interval.
“These shares have been hanging over the market and held down costs,” a cobalt dealer stated, including that quite a lot of cobalt materials destined for prime client China was caught in ports as a result of folks had been in quarantine because of the coronavirus.
Glencore and Katanga declined to remark.
Sliding demand for cobalt from Chinese language customers within the electrical automobile battery provide chain noticed costs on the London Metallic Alternate crash greater than 70% to $26,000 a tonne between Might 2018 and August 2019. They’re now at $33,300 a tonne.
Katanga’s mining property producing copper and byproduct cobalt are within the Democratic Republic of Congo, the place Glencore’s Mutanda mine can also be situated.
Glencore shut Mutanda final 12 months. It produced 25,000 tonnes of steel final 12 months or about 20% of the worldwide complete and is anticipated to be below care and upkeep for 2 years.
The Swiss-based commodity dealer is because of report its monetary outcomes subsequent Tuesday.