Swiss-based metal miner Glencore Plc. has signed a deal to sell 52,800 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide, around one third of its entire production, to Chinese battery recycle GEM Co. Ltd. over the next three years, the Financial Times reports following a filing released on Wednesday.
Fears of supply shortages have driven a surge in cobalt prices to around $39 per pound, from $10 in January 2016. Higher demand for the metal, a central component of lithium-ion batteries, is also expected to accompany booming demand for electric vehicles worldwide.
Glencore, the world’s largest cobalt producer, plans to produce around 39,000 tonnes of cobalt this year, making up about 35% of expected global production.