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21/04/2024
Mining News

Africa Takes a Significant Step Towards Establishing the Continent’s First Cobalt Refinery

Africa could have its first cobalt sulphate refinery by the end of 2025, one of the few outside of China capable of making the product that’s a key component of lithium-ion batteries.

Nigeria-based Africa Finance Corp. last week signed an expression of interest to provide $100 million in financing to Kobaloni Energy, backed by mining veteran Mick Davis’ Vision Blue, for the planned facility in Zambia.

Supported by

AFC should reach an investment decision within 3-4 months, chief executive officer Samaila Zubairu said in an interview Feb. 9. Once the financing is finalised, production could start within 18 months, Johnny Velloza, Kobaloni’s co-founder, said by text message Wednesday.

The project would help diversify a crucial part of the global battery-making supply chain away from China, which currently accounts for about 75% of global cobalt refining capacity. Zambia isn’t a major cobalt producer, but its northern neighbor Democratic Republic of Congo mines about two-thirds of the world’s supplies of the metal.

Still, prices have plunged from highs above $80 000 a ton two years ago to about $28 000 on the London Metal Exchange due to oversupply, making investments in the metal more difficult.

 

Source: Moneyweb

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