Instabilities in the consumption and production for cobalt
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Cobalt is obtained mainly as a byproduct of the mining and metallurgical processing of copper and nickel. The amount of minable cobalt has a characteristic supply limit, which is dependent upon demand for copper and nickel. It is considered that cobalt consumption will be affected by the amount mined in the near future, because world demand has been gradually increasing, while the production from copper sulfide ores in Zaire and Zambia, major producing countries, has decreased for political, economical and technological reasons. The world demand for cobalt has surpassed the world mine production, and cobalt sales from the National Defense Stockpile of the United States and exports from Russia and cobalt recovered from stockpiled intermediates contributed to the supply in 1994. It is concluded, from a statistical point of view, that this trend of shortage and high prices for cobalt will continue in the near future.
Key WordsCobalt production supply demand
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Industrial rare metals: Arumu Publ.
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