Output from DRC & Indonesia to support global cobalt supply to grow by 6.5% in 2024

Credit: Globaldata. Global cobalt production is expected to rise for…

cobalt production

Global cobalt production is expected to rise for the fourth time in a row, to 231.5 kilotonnes (kt) in 2024, an increase of 6.5% over 2022. Increased supply from the DRC and Indonesia will primarily support the growth in 2024.

Meanwhile, growing interest in cobalt, combined with government and private sector investment to meet rising demand, increased the number of countries producing cobalt from seven in 2000 to 16 in 2023.

The DRC accounted for 68.6% of global cobalt output in 2023. Although the DRC will continue to dominate the world’s cobalt supply in the coming years, its share will gradually decline to 56.5% by 2030. In contrast, Indonesia’s share is expected to rise from 8.3% in 2023 to 20.8% by 2030. Production growth in the DRC will be supported by the restart of the Kinsanfu or KFM mine in the second quarter of 2023.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, which became the second-largest cobalt producer in the world in 2022, surpassing established producers including Russia, Australia, Canada, Cuba, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, is expected to produce 14.1kt in 2023, up by 40.7% over 2022. Projects started in 2021 and 2022 have ramped up to support production in 2023. For example, PT Halmahera Persada Lygend (PT Lygend) continued to expand in 2022, with Phase II also beginning.

Looking ahead, during the forecast period, global cobalt production is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.1% to reach 311.8kt by 2030. Output from Indonesia will be a major contributor to this growth, with the commencement of several projects, including the Weda Bay Expansion Project (Sonic Bay), Sorowako and Pomalaa.

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