Kobalt is one of the most valuable metals in the world. The vast majority of cobalt tends to come from a single place. In particular, the Democratic Republic of Congo is responsible for producing more cobalt than any other country on Earth. Every year, this country produces approximately 100,000 tons of cobalt. It is used in a wide variety of industrial processes, and many of the mines located in this country are owned by Chinese companies.
There are a few other countries that produce a significant amount of cobalt, but none of them produce more than 7,000 tons of cobalt in a single year. Russia produces the second most cobalt in the world, but it only produces 6,100 tons. Some of the other countries that also produce a fair amount of cobalt include Australia, the Philippines, Cuba, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, and Canada.
There are several common applications of cobalt. The most common use of cobalt is in a process known as electroplating. It is commonly used in this process because it is highly resistant to oxidation and it is a very durable metal. In addition, cobalt compounds have been used to create a rich blue color. If you have ever seen blue pottery, blue porcelain, blue ceramics, or blue glass, there is a good chance that cobalt was used in this process. Because cobalt is one of the most versatile metals on Earth, it is incredibly valuable.
In the past, Tesla relied on this compound for its cars. In particular, Tesla cannot produce its electric batteries without it. Because the vast majority of the world’s cobalt is located in a single place, and Chinese companies are responsible for mining most of it, Tesla decided it needed to find another compound that would work well. As a result, Tesla got to work developing a battery that did not depend on cobalt for its success. Today, Tesla no longer relies on cobalt for the production of its cars. This has made it much easier for Tesla to get cars onto the open market more quickly, making their vehicles more accessible to the general public.
Even though the United States has not been in any wars in Africa involving cobalt supply in the Congo, plenty of wars have been fought in Africa in the past. In particular, a lot of European countries went to war with one another during the late 19th and early 20th centuries because they had colonized Africa. Even though cobalt was not nearly as valuable back then as it is today, there are wars that have been fought in Africa over this topic. There is still a tremendous amount of violence in Africa, even if there are no countries engaging in open war over the rights to the precious metal. It will be interesting to see what happens next.
Cobalt Production 2022 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 2021 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 2020 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 2019 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 2018 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 2013 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 2008 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 2003 (metric tons)
Cobalt Production 1998 (metric tons)
|Papua New Guinea||3||3||2.90||2.90||3.30||1|
The country that produces the most cobalt is the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is responsible for producing 100K tons of cobalt in a year.