The Cobalt News, July 2015 - Cobalt Development Institute



The Cobalt News, July 2015 - Cobalt Development Institute
July 2015
2 Comment
3 Report from THE Cobalt Conference 2015
8 Spintronics – Molecules stabilising
9 The Lithium-Ion Battery Megafactories
Are Coming
10 Tesla unveils batteries to power homes
D. Elliott (Freeport-McMoRan Sales Co. USA)
T. Litzinger
(ICCI, Bahamas)
I. Akalay
(CTT, Morocco)
H. Gibbs
(OMG Americas, USA)
J. Green
(Sandvik, USA)
G. Jones
(Shepherd Chemicals, UK)
J. Lowe
(Dynatec, Madagascar)
M. Oehlers
(Shu Powders, China)
V. Mittenzwei
(Kennametal, Inc., USA)
M. Majka
(Eramet Group, France)
B. Sap
(Umicore, Belgium)
F. Schulders (Glencore Intnl, Switzerland)
T. Southgate (Chambishi Metals, Zambia)
H. Sueta
(Sumitomo MM, Japan)
N. Williams
(Vale, Canada)
18 Jeffries Passage, Guildford, GU1 4AP, UK
Tel: (0)1483 578877
Fax: (0)1483 567042
email: [email protected] web:
Editor: D. Weight – Production: I. Porri
The Cobalt Development Institute carries out activities from a head office in Guildford, UK, to promote
the use of cobalt. It is legally incorporated as an
association of a wholly non-profit making character
in accordance with its memorandum and articles,
which are available on request. Membership of the
CDI is open to those engaged or interested in the
industry, subject to and acceptance by the Board.
Cobalt News exists to disseminate promotion material on uses for, and development in, cobalt technology supported by items of interest to cobalt producers, users and all their customers. Unless otherwise
stated as copyright reserved, Cobalt News permits
the reprint of articles if fully credited to Cobalt News
and its contributors where appropriate.
Comment is the responsibility of the Editor. Views
expressed by the contributors are their own. Neither
necessarily reflects those of the Institute, its directors or its members.
The 22 Annual CDI Cobalt Conference took
place in Toronto on 20/21 May and in spite of
the rather challenging markets, at least for our
Mother metals, over 150 delegates heard keynote and topical presentations covering a
broad range of important industry related topics.
The mood at the Conference was upbeat and
there was much positive news from the Conference presenters on the future position of
the cobalt market. Without question, the main
driver for the cobalt market over the past 10 –
15 years has been rechargeable batteries and
this is likely to continue for the foreseeable
future – provided the battery chemistry of
choice remains favourable to cobalt! This is
strongly supported by continued growth in
aerospace and automotive applications.
The Conference presentations also looked
closely at responsible sourcing from both the
NGO and mining industry perspective and it is
important to appreciate that cobalt strongly
supports these initiatives and promotes transparency in the value chain.
The next CDI Cobalt Conference will be held
at the Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul, South
Korea on 11/12 May 2016 and information will
be posted on the website later in the year. It is
the only purely cobalt conference internationally and attracts the important players in this
sector. To get informed on matters related to
cobalt and to network with key cobalt stakeholders then we highly recommend you attend
this annual event.
Material is presented for the general information of
the reader, and whilst believed to be correct, the
CDI, its members, staff and contributors do not represent or warrant its suitability for any general or
specific use and assume no liability of any kind in
connection with the provision of the said information.
The Cobalt Development Institute is an English Company Limited by Guarantee registered at 18 Jeffries Passage, Guildford, GU1 4AP
Cobalt News, 15/3
THE Cobalt Conference
20/21 May 2015 – Toronto, Canada
On 20/21 May 2015 the great and the good of the
cobalt industry descended on Toronto for the
Institute’s Annual Conference, and even though
metal markets remained challenging, some 150
delegates participated in an interesting and highly
topical conference looking broadly at the cobalt
market. There were numerous market reports;
project updates; presentations on key and new enduses; a focus on responsible sourcing (from both an
NGO and Industry perspective) and an outline of
how the Cobalt Development Institute effectively
represents the industry on a global basis, addressing
key issues that affect our market and protecting
market access for cobalt.
Market sentiment from the previous year had been
high, but as it transpired the cobalt price rather
sagged during the subsequent year, pulled down by
the lower demand and weakening prices affecting
the Mother metals, copper and nickel, during the
period. Nonetheless the current outlook for cobalt
appears good given the continued growth anticipated
in some end-use sectors of the cobalt market and
this was highlighted during the conference, both in
conference presentations and also in the satellite
meetings – so the overall mood in the cobalt
fraternity was most upbeat for the medium to longterm.
CDI President, David Weight welcomed
the delegates to the annual Conference
and suggested that it had been another
challenging year for the metals industry
as a whole, with slackening demand in
many sectors and the emergence of even
more Regulatory issues globally. Whilst
the cobalt industry fully supports the need
for responsible sourcing and safe use of
this critical, technology enabling metal it
is appropriate to comment that there is a
Regulators and policy makers on our
small and highly specialised industry.
Much more should be done by these agencies to
understand the potential impact on industry,
technological development, clean energy potential,
efficient industrial processes and innovation as a
result of this overreaction to the hazard profile of
cobalt and other metals. As an industry we re-iterate
that Regulation should be based on ‘risk’, not
hazard. The CDI is undertaking cutting edge science
to understand more fully the effects of cobalt in
regards to human health and the environment and
we would urge Regulators and policy makers to work
with us in this respect to ensure that societal benefits
of cobalt are also protected.
Cobalt News, 15/3
Our Chairman, David Elliott of Freeport-McMoRan
Inc (majority shareholder and operator of Tenke
Fungurume, DRC), then opened the CDI Cobalt
Conference formally and went on to emphasise the
strong value proposition offered by the Institute and
encouraged those who were not Members to
consider joining in order to improve the effectiveness
of the CDI in protecting market access for cobalt,
particularly now when we are seeing a significant
growth in global chemical regulation and the need to
demonstrate responsible sourcing and further
transparency in the value chain.
David Weight began proceedings with an outline of
the CDI value proposition – “Adding Value, Getting
Results”. He explained that the CDI:
• Adds value by identifying and tackling
important issues on behalf of the Cobalt
• Is a highly proactive organisation that
demonstrates value for money with its work
• Is Part of the Solution – greater emphasis by
stakeholders on the Trade Association reduces
their bottom line costs through employing captive,
expert resources on a shared basis.
Figure 1
Advocacy and PR Manager, Brigitte Amoruso
then explained more about what the CDI does on
behalf of the industry, outlining the main Regulatory
concerns for our industry, and emphasising the need
for a proportionate approach by Regulators (Fig. 1).
Brigitte explained how cobalt was critically important
for industry and society, was a technology enabling
metal and one that is vital to support the green
agenda and innovation in industry.
The first keynote and eagerly awaited presentation
was from Peter Searle of CRU who spoke on the
“Cobalt: Market Balance in the 2020s?”.
be focusing on expanding in the automotive
and stationary sectors. He also explained the
features attributable to the cathode material
in the various battery systems (Fig. 4).
presentation by suggesting that cobalt is the
most important material for lithium ion
batteries and that the cobalt metal business
is expected to grow due to expansion in the
lithium ion battery market.
Figure 2
Interestingly he showed how strongly cobalt
demand had grown since 1987 (Fig. 2).
He also showed that the compound annual
growth rate (CAGR) for cobalt had been firm
for a long period and was expected to
maintain this growth for the foreseeable
future (Fig. 3).
In summary the CRU considered that
demand growth for cobalt would remain
strong, largely driven by rechargeable
batteries containing cobalt; that a constraint
in the future could be from the supply side;
but equally the growth in cobalt demand
was largely unpinned by the current
accepted chemistry for certain important battery
applications – but what if this changes? was his final
Figure 4
Our next key note presentation was from Munehisa
Ikoma, CTO Director, Energy Technology
Development Centre, Automotive & Industrial
Systems Company of the Panasonic Corporation
who gave a paper on “Future direction of Lithium
Ion Battery” and he outlined the 84-years of battery
business in Panasonic, providing some indications of
market growth and indicating that Panasonic would
Cobalt News, 15/3
Figure 3
Those who follow the CDI Conference will have
noted how the importance of chemical regulation has
grown over the years. This was initially
resulting from the REACH Regulation in the
EU but now on a world-wide context. Our next
speaker was from the Chemical, Inspection
and Regulatory Services (CIRS) of China
and Eric Xiong, Head of Industrial
Chemical Sector, gave practical advice for
the impending Chinese and Korean chemical
regulations. For China he gave an outline of
the new Regulation and explained the
chemical notification types and the overall
With regard to Korea, Eric explained that the
new Regulation, which was similar to REACH
in the EU, had come into force on the 1
January 2015 and that the first list of
substances would be published probably in
October and then every three years.
The Korean Regulation focuses on the Registration
and Evaluation of Chemicals and the Chemical
Control Act focuses on the control of hazards,
particularly with respect to chemical accidents. This
presentation gave good insights and guidance into
the nature of these important Regulatory
developments in China and Korea.
Decker presented to Conference on
Development of Market-Leading Lithium
Power Tools. She emphasized that cordless
power tools were still evolving and were
improving in performance all the time. In
terms of evolution the technology has moved
from the older Ni-Cd systems to the more
versatile Li-ion which was now dominating
the power tool industry (Fig. 5).
Figure 5
Lisa noted that recent research (Avicenne)
suggested that there could be a 3-fold
increase in the amount of cobalt cathode
materials over the next 10-years, but
cautioned that the development of cordless
technology would be dependent upon the
battery supply chain and that 20% of a power
tool cost was in the battery cathode material.
The need for transparency in the supply chain is well
recognised by CDI Members and indeed the majority
of responsible mining companies. To this end
Stephen D’Esposito, President of RESOLVE
looked at the Trends in Supply Chain
Transparency and Sustainability. He explained
that there are an increasing proliferation of standards
and certification systems to measure the assurance
variables, such as certification, and outlined
important trends and ideally what sort of strategic
pathway should be followed to ensure a responsible
sourcing approach was fully achieved for raw
Sustainability in the supply chain is often scrutinised
by the NGO fraternity, so it was interesting to receive
a presentation from Kevin Bradley of Sustainable
Enterprise Consulting looking at Responsible
Sourcing in the Mining and Metals Industry. In
what was a very comprehensive paper, Kevin
outlined the common issues and the sources of
pressure – largely from consumers, government,
general public and activists inter alia. He explained
that through the International Committee on Mining
and Metals (ICMM) some industry guidelines had
been established and explained how these should be
integrated into decision making processes of mining
companies (Fig. 6).
Moving on to cobalt production, the Sumitomo Metal
Mining (SMM) Activities in the Philippines have
grown appreciably over more recent years and
activities in Coral Bay and Taganito have now
expanded the capability of SMM to produce cobalt.
Yoshiteru Sato, Manager of Nickel Production
Section, Niihama Nickel Refinery, Japan,
presented on the SMM HPAL/Electrolysis Cobalt
Refining Process. He explained about the High
Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL)
process and how this was
adapted for the SMM sulphide
route for nickel and cobalt
extraction. He outlined the
greater efficiencies that SMM
obtained in the extraction of
nickel and cobalt from pressure
acid leach of limonite, the
resultant mixed sulphides being
efficiently treated at the Niihama
refinery in Japan. SMM is now
an important producer of high
grade refined cobalt.
It is appropriate to say that members of the ICMM
and the CDI have developed basic Principles by
which they should operate and this is very helpful in
understanding and having confidence in the cobalt
mining industry position on responsible sourcing.
The principal use of cobalt is in
lithium ion battery systems and
we were most fortunate that Lisa
King, the Manager, Battery
Technology, Stanley Black &
Cobalt News, 15/3
Cobalt turns up in a broad range of end-use
applications and is often supporting innovative
Figure 6
products and processes, perhaps few
more important that the computer industry.
Bob Leet of Intel, representing the US
Semiconductor Industry Association,
presented on the Emerging Potential
Uses of Cobalt in Semiconductor
Intersection. He explained that the
increased electric current in copper metal
wiring on semiconductors is leading to
electro-migration of the copper at the
atomic level and that cobalt is being
considered as a barrier metal to pin the
copper metal in place. Bob emphasized
that high purity and quality is required for
atomic layer control. We heard that Cobalt
materials will be needed to sustain future
semiconductor device needs but that
regulatory pressure that restricts the use
of cobalt could be detrimental to this
innovative development, noting that this technology
supports a mega-sector in the USA and globally (Fig.
Figure 7
China refines over 40% of the world’s cobalt and is
an extremely important player in the global market
place. We were therefore delighted that Fan Runze,
a Senior Analyst with Antaike Information
Services, China, presented a detailed Analysis of
the Chinese Cobalt Market 2015-15. He showed
that cobalt consumption in this market continued to
grow, reaching 38,500tonnes in 2014.
Production was also growing and he
noted that the proportion of metal
production was actually reducing (Fig.
Emergence of hi-tech demand disrupting old
Raw now materials tailored for customer
Often not exchange traded; private contracts
Closer to chemical industry than mining
Lack of investment for a generation
In conclusion Benchmark felt that new battery
technology would seriously challenge traditional
consumption will continue to grow in
China and that there would be a further
drawdown on any stockpiles of material.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence made
Conference and we were pleased to
welcome Andrew Miller who spoke on
Megafactories. He pointed out that
there had been little short of a
revolution in the Li-ion sector in recent
years with the explosion in growth for
largely portable electronic and electrical
devices. He then went on to examine the possible
effects of the recently announced plan by TESLA
Motors to build a huge battery and vehicle production
factory, in conjunction with Panasonic, which could
prove a game changer in terms of cobalt market
demand. Andrew drew an interesting comparison
between commodities and specialist products,
suggesting this could change the dynamic of the
Commodities Versus Specialist Products
Cobalt News, 15/3
Figure 8
Information is vital for strategic decision making and
the US Geological Survey does a remarkable job in
analysing key markets, so the CDI was delighted to
welcome Kim Shedd, Cobalt and Tungsten
Commodity Specialist at the USGS. She explained
that the USGS mission was to collect, analyze, and
disseminate information on the domestic and
international supply of and demand for minerals and
mineral materials essential to the U.S. economy and
had a national security goal of providing decision
In particular it was noted that these very special
metals were vital in critical applications for
rechargeable batteries, specialist and super
alloys, bio-chemicals and in numerous
innovative research areas, such as high entropy
alloys, cobalt ferrite nano particles (e.g.
enhanced oil recovery) and organic cobalt
chemicals (e.g. to absorb oxygen from the air
and release when needed). This was a
fascinating and informative presentation from
our Mother metal which helped appreciate how
essential some metals are.
Figure 9
makers with the information required to ensure that
the Nation has an adequate and dependable supply
of minerals and materials to meet its defense and
economic needs at acceptable costs related to
environment, energy and economics. She briefed the
meeting on the cobalt market noting that the global
reserves were about 7.2million tonnes and that the
largest reserves of cobalt lay in the DRC (Fig. 9).
Formation Metals have been dedicated to the
Idaho Cobalt Project (ICP) for a number of years
and Paul Farquharson, President & CEO, together
with Rick Honsinger, Vice President, brought
delegates up to date with developments. It was
explained that In excess of C$100 M including
construction had already been spent since discovery
of the ICP in 1997 and stage I and II construction
was complete.
When operating, the ICP would be the USA’s only
commercial cobalt producer and only one of a very
few primary cobalt sources globally. The CDI has
followed the development of the ICP with great
interest over the years and it is remarkable to see
what progress has been made and how close
the operation is to production.
CDI Annual Cobalt
With that the 22
Conference came to a close with much for
delegates to reflect on. Overall the mood was
upbeat and the news from Conference
suggested that cobalt demand for the
foreseeable future looked set for growth as a
result of increased battery demand, growth in
aerospace alloys together with new innovative
technology such as semiconductors. The need
for maintaining and improving sustainability in the
sector was also recognised and it was heartening to
appreciate that the cobalt industry is fully supportive
of transparency in the value chain and recognises
the need to demonstrate responsible sourcing of raw
materials. The potential damage to industry through
disproportionate chemical regulation was once again
emphasised and it is our abiding hope that the
metals industry and cobalt in particular, are treated
proportionately and realistically by Regulators, based
on the science and engagement with industry.
Tina Litzinger of Sherritt International and Vice Chair
of the CDI re-emphasised the work and effective
results that the CDI was achieving on behalf of the
cobalt industry and recommended that more cobalt
producers, fabricators, downstream users and
recyclers should seriously consider joining the CDI in
order to strengthen its hand in protecting market
access for cobalt. She then brought the proceedings
to a formal close and looked forward to seeing
evening greater industry representation at the 23
CDI Cobalt Conference which will be held in 2016 in
Seoul, Korea.
Cobalt is essentially a by-product of nickel (and
copper), so delegates were very pleased to
welcome David Butler, President, Nickel
Institute (NI) and Gary Coates, Technical
Specialist at the Institute who presented on
Nickel and Cobalt Synergy – Similarities and
Differences. It is interesting to note that nickel
and cobalt are often used in conjunction for
high performance alloys, but don’t actually
compete. The NI is a global body created to
Promote and support the use of nickel in
appropriate applications. Nickel is largely used
in stainless steel applications and is roughly
twenty times higher in production compared to
Cobalt News, 15/3
stabilising magnetism
Organic molecules allow producing
printable electronics and solar cells
with extraordinary properties. In
spintronics, too, molecules open up
possibility of
materials and, thus, the spin of the
flowing electrons. According to what
is reported in Nature Materials by a
researchers, a thin layer of organic
magnetic orientation of a cobalt
"This special interaction between
organic molecules and metal The magnetic moments of the three organic molecules and the cobalt surface
surfaces could help to manufacture align very stably relative to each other. Credit: M. Gruber, KIT
information storage systems in a
more simple, flexible and cheaper
way," explains Wulf Wulfhekel from
The present publication is the result of a cooperation
KIT. Microscopic magnets with constant orientation
of researchers from KIT, University of Strasbourg,
are used in hard disks, for example. With a view to
and Synchrotron SOLEIL. First author Manfred
"printable electronics", organic molecules indeed
Gruber was member of the German-French
could open up new simple production methods
Graduate School "Hybrid Organic- Inorganic
utilizing the self-organization of molecules.
Nanostructures and Molecular Electronics", where
different aspects of nanoelectronics, spintronics, and
In the present study, three molecular layers of the
organic electronics are investigated.
dye phtalocynine were applied to the surface of
ferromagnetic cobalt. Whereas the magnetic
moments of the molecules alternatingly align relative
to the cobalt and relative to each other, the
molecules form a so-called antiferromagnetic
The magnetic orientation of this combination of
antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic materials
remains relatively stable even in the presence of
external magnetic fields or cooling. "Surprisingly, the
"lightweight" molecule wins this magnetic arm
wrestling with the "heavyweight" ferromagnetic
material and determines the respective properties,"
Wulfhekel says.
Explore further: New method of
nanomagnets for information technology
More information: "Exchange bias and roomtemperature magnetic order in molecular layers."
Nature Materials (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nmat4361
First posted on on 21/07/2015
Systems of antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic
materials, among others, are used in hard disk
reading heads. So far, manufacturing of
antiferromagnets has been quite complex and timeconsuming. Should molecules be suitable for use in
the production, the antiferromagnets one day will
simply come out of the printer.
Cobalt News, 15/3
The Lithium-Ion Battery
Megafactories Are
Everyone has heard about Tesla’s $5 Billion
Gigafactory and its potential to double lithium-ion
battery production capacity. However, it turns out
that this merely a cog in the wheel of a bigger trend.
Data from Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral
Intelligence shows that there are several other largescale facilities coming online in the next five years
that will potentially bring that number substantially
Today’s production capacity is approximately 35
GWh worldwide. However, once Tesla’s Gigafactory
and the other facilities being built by LG Chem,
Foxconn, BYD, and Boston Power are complete, we
will have a total capacity in 2020 of around 122
GWh. This exponential ramping up of production
capabilities proves that companies are serious about
scale and reducing costs.
Cobalt News, 15/3
For investors and speculators in the lithium, graphite,
and cobalt sectors, there is no doubt that this could
be a big boon. While these megafactories will have
more negotiating power in their contracts for
industrial metal sourcing, they will not be able to
create this supply out of thin air.
These companies will need a diverse array of
sources for industrial metals to reduce any supply
risks. The sources also need to be socially
responsible, ethical, and professionally managed.
Tesla has already stated that they are unwilling to
source from places like the Democratic Republic of
the Congo, where over half of cobalt supply
originates. This creates an interesting dynamic and
playing field for the mining companies in this space,
and it will be worth watching as battery production
ramps up in the coming years.
Tesla unveils batteries
to power homes
US electric carmaker Tesla Motors has unveiled
batteries that can power homes and businesses as it
attempts to expand beyond its vehicle business.
Chief executive Elon Musk announced the firm would
build batteries that store solar energy and serve as a
back-up system for consumers during blackouts.
The device would allow consumers to get off a power
grid or bring energy to remote areas that are not on a
Tesla plans to start shipping the units to installers in
the US by this summer.
In a highly anticipated event near Los Angeles, Mr
Musk said the move could help change the "entire
energy infrastructure of the world". "Tesla Energy is
a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission
power generation," the company said in a statement.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery unit would be
built using the same batteries Tesla produces for its
electric vehicles, analysts said.
The system is called Powerwall, and Tesla will sell
the 7kWh unit for $3,000 (£1,954), while the 10kWh
unit will retail for $3,500 (£2,275) to installers.
Energy comparison firm USwitch estimates that one
kWh can power two days of work on a laptop, a full
washing machine cycle or be used to boil a kettle 10
Mr Musk said the company would partner with
SolarCity to install the home batteries, but there
would be more companies announced.
Mr Musk is SolarCity's chairman and largest
Tesla's move into so-called "stationary storage" is a
market with enormous growth potential: as the world
slowly moves away from fossil fuels, it is seen as
critical to a more widespread adoption of "clean"
energy sources like solar and wind.
There is also a strong commercial rationale for Elon
Musk to leverage Tesla's expertise in building highlyefficient car batteries and put them in a single unit in
consumers' residences.
The business strategy is a bit like the battery itself:
high impact, but a slow release which will really only
reap significant benefits over time. But it comes with
risks. Tesla may face a challenge getting the costsaving message across to potential customers,
especially with a significant $3,500 upfront cost.
Cobalt News, 15/3
The carmaker also faces competition from batterystorage technology rivals with deep pockets such as
GE (General Electric) and South Korea's top
chemical company, LG Chem. There is also a
danger that this particular lithium ion battery could be
superseded within a few years by other technology,
like hydrogen fuel cells, which Tesla is not equipped
to make.
Still, these are risks Tesla is clearly prepared to take
on. Its cars have won rave reviews, but precious few
sales outside its California heartland. With a $5bn
gigafactory not due to open until 2017, and only a
single Tesla vehicle available to buy today,
diversification of its product line into an area like this
will be key to keeping investors happy.
The sales of battery storage systems for homes and
businesses could yield as much as $4.5bn in
revenue for Tesla, according to Deutsche Bank.
The automaker reported fourth quarter earnings that
missed market expectations in February, as it saw a
loss of $107.6m on production and delivery issues.
Friends of the Earth's renewable energy campaigner
Alasdair Cameron said having solar panels and a
home battery in the future could become as common
as central heating.
"Just as the internet changed the way we
information so renewable sources, like wind
solar, are changing the way we make and
energy - and electricity storage is an important
of that change," he said.
"Cheaper and more efficient energy storage means
individuals and businesses could save renewable
energy until they need it, hugely reducing the need
for climate-changing fossil fuels."
Colin Brown, director of engineering at the Institution
of Mechanical Engineers said Tesla's announcement
is timely considering the push by governments to
reduce emissions.
"Without storage you've always got to have huge
capacity just in case one of the peaks come through
at a particular time - a very hot day when you need a
lot of cooling, and so a lot of demand. With storage,
you don't have to have all of that massive production
of energy," he said.
First posted on on
01/05/2015 (

Documents pareils