Glencore to mothball cobalt and copper mine

Article by Amanda Doyle

GLENCORE will stop production at the Mutanda cobalt and copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo as it is no longer economically viable.

Glencore is one of the world’s largest cobalt producers, with the Mutanda mine producing a fifth of global supplies. According to The Australian, Glencore expected to benefit from the rise in demand for lithium-ion batteries – which require cobalt – but the increase in the supply of cobalt has not matched demand.

The closure is due to a fall in prices for cobalt, making the mine no longer economically viable, according to a letter to employees, seen by The Financial Times. The price of cobalt has fallen by more than 40% this year due to an oversupply from the DRC.

Production will halt at the Mutanda mine by the end of this year. Last year the mine produced 199,000 t of copper (0.5% of global supply) and 27,300 t of cobalt, according to Bloomberg.

The mine will be maintained and could eventually restart production.  

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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