A major shift in cobalt demand is currently experienced from metallic products to Cobalt chemicals. In the past ten years cobalt chemicals have eclipsed cobalt metal in terms of total demand, primarily due to the standardisation of Li-ion batteries across consumer electronics – most notably in the market for electric vehicles. In 2009, refined chemicals comprised 55% of total cobalt demand, with cobalt metal making up the rest. In 2017, CRU estimates that they will comprise 63% of the market, and this is expected to steadily increase to over two thirds of the market by 2026. https://www.crugroup.com/knowledge-and-insights/insights/cobalt-shifts-from-metal-to-chemical-market
The cobalt market has two main categories: Metallic cobalt is used for the manufacture of high-temperature superalloys, stainless steels, medical prosthetics, hard-facing products and other niche applications. It is normally sold in the form of 99.8% and 99.3% purity cobalt ingot or cut cathode on the LME, or priced according to price discovery from a wide range of sources.
Cobalt chemicals have many applications, but their most prominent use is in the manufacture of Li-ion batteries. Other key uses include the manufacture of catalysts, pigments, polymers and tyres. The most widely used cobalt chemicals are cobalt oxide, cobalt sulphate and cobalt acetate, as well as other more niche compounds for rarer applications. Many battery manufacturers will purchase cobalt oxide for the production of Li-Co oxide, whilst other will use cobalt sulphate, hydroxide or carbonate to produce their own oxide, from which they will then produce the Li - Co oxide. The route taken depends on the technical and chemical performance specifications set by each producer, and whether they have propriety production technologies that provide them with a performance advantage. We shall therefore focus in the production of cobalt chemicals and other materials, which could be directly used in the production of Li-Ion Batteries or for pigment applications. At the same time Gilgamesh will try to convert all major by-products from its mineral leaching operations into useful chemicals and oxides.
- Cobalt Sulphate heptahydrate
- Cobalt Carbonate
- Cobalt Hydroxide
- Cobalt Oxide (Ceramic Grade)
- Cobalt Oxide (Electronic Grade)
- Lithium Cobalt Oxide
- Copper Sulphate heptahydrate
- Copper Carbonate
- Copper (II) Oxide (Technical Grade)
- Copper (II) Oxide (AR)