Swiss mining giant Glencore has inked a five-year deal with Samsung SDI to supply cobalt hydroxide for the South Korean manufacturer’s lithium-ion batteries.
This latest agreement follows several multi-year supply deals secured by the miner last year amid forecasts of a cobalt sector revival, although analysts have recently predicted subdued demand in China will cap prices in the short-term.
Under the supply contract, Glencore will provide up to 21,000 tonnes of cobalt contained in hydroxide between 2020 and 2024, with the metal expected to be sourced from its Katanga operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Glencore head of copper and cobalt marketing Nico Paraskevas said this extension of a partnership with Samsung “demonstrates a further continuation of Glencore’s cobalt hydroxide marketing strategy to secure long-term supply agreements with key players in the lithium-ion battery supply chain”.
“This also illustrates Glencore’s important role in supplying the materials that enable the energy and mobility transition and Glencore’s commitment to responsible production,” he said.
Interest in Glencore’s cobalt
In addition to Samsung, Glencore has recently inked supply deals with Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation, Belgian chemicals giant Umicore, Chinese battery recycler GEM and German luxury vehicle manufacturer BMW.
Media reports last month also allege electric vehicle company Tesla is in talks to buy cobalt from Glencore for its new factory in Shanghai.
According to Bloomberg, unnamed sources said executives from both companies negotiated terms of a long-term contract before an official ceremony to mark the first sales from the Shanghai plant in early January.
No final agreement has been announced as yet.
Cobalt production and pricing