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Global Market for Cobalt and its Salts

Cobalt is a lustrous brittle metal widely used in the production of superalloys, batteries and magnets. It does not occur naturally but is found as a component in about 30 basic minerals. The world’s largest cobalt deposits are located in the Republic of Congo.

To date, the world’s cobalt production is estimated at 80,000 tpy. The key manufacturer of cobalt salts is Umicore N.V. For the first half of 2012, the global consumption of Co and its salts made up 39,500 tonnes. About 27% of total output is used to produce batteries. In a view of Co unique properties, it is very difficult to find an appropriate substitute for it.

The article covers key methods of Co extraction, applications, and factors influencing the development of the global market.

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