• 2 minutes CV19: New York 21% infection rate + 40% Existing T-Cell immunity = 61% = Herd Immunity ?
  • 4 minutes Is The Three Gorges Dam on the Brink of Collapse?
  • 7 minutes Sources confirm Trump to sign two new Executive orders.
  • 22 mins Is the oil & gas industry on the way out?
  • 3 mins In a Nutshell...
  • 2 hours Better Days Are (Not) Coming: Fed Officials Suggest U.S. Recovery May Be Stalling
  • 2 days No More Love: Kanye West Breaks With Trump, Claims 2020 Run Is Not A Stunt
  • 3 days A Real Reality Check on "Green Hydrogen"
  • 8 hours Why Oil could hit $100
  • 2 days Where is Alberta, Canada headed?
  • 5 hours Australian renewables zone attracts 27 GW of solar, wind, battery proposals
  • 2 days Putin Paid Militants to Kill US Troops
  • 2 days The Coal Industry May Never Recover From The Pandemic
  • 2 days During March, April, May the states with the highest infections/deaths were NY, NJ, Ma. . . . . Today (June) the three have the best numbers. How ? Herd immunity ?
  • 3 days Why Wind is pitiful for most regions on earth
Battery Metal Demand Set To Soar By 500%

Battery Metal Demand Set To Soar By 500%

Production of battery metals such…

This Key Battery Metal Is Set To Soar By 250%

This Key Battery Metal Is Set To Soar By 250%

Copper prices surged to a…

Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

More Info

Premium Content

No.1 Cobalt Mining Nation Just Adopted A Dangerous Mining Strategy

Back from Myanmar and Mongolia. To find that one of the world’s fast-growing mining trends has taken another twist this week.

As I’ve been discussing for several months, governments in mining nations globally are obsessing about “value-added” production. Demanding that miners upgrade and refine metals in-country, instead of exporting lower-value products like concentrate. 

And this week, another government got on that bandwagon. In the world’s top cobalt-producing nation: the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Officials from that government confirmed they have directed key copper and cobalt miner Sicomines to stop exporting unfinished mineral products. With sources saying that numerous trucks carrying copper concentrate and lower-value cobalt hydroxide had been turned around en route to Zambia, where the metal is currently upgraded. 

DR Congo’s Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu added that Sicomines will now be required to export “only high-value products”. Suggesting that the government is looking for the firm to build in-country refineries — which currently don’t exist. 

The move is an interesting one, given that Sicomines is majority-owned by Chinese firms Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Construction. Who have major political clout in the country after the Chinese government invested $6 billion in local infrastructure. 

For their part, Sicomines officials said they expect to “unblock” the export ban without any major delays. Suggesting that are not planning to comply with government demands for refinery construction.

Related: Russia And China Continue To Boost Oil Ties

This could lead to a showdown, like one that’s playing out now in another value-add nation: Zimbabwe. Where government officials have been threatening to impose a 15 percent tax on exports of unfinished platinum, as soon as January 2018.

But Zimbabwe’s government now appears to be backing down on those demands. With Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa saying this week he may extend the deadline for in-country upgrading to take place.

That comes after the country’s largest miner Zimplats last month threatened to close its largest operation, Mimosa, if the import tax was imposed. Showing that operators are willing to stand up to demands for in-country processing, which are often seen as financially impossible, due to high costs for smelter construction. 

We’ll see if a similar detente comes in DR Congo and other embattled nations like Tanzania. Watch for more announcements from Sicomines and government officials here. 

Here’s to being realistic.

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News