Cobalt market needs representative pricing for intermediates – Southgate

Publication: Metal Bulletin
Date: 6 February 2018
Author: Janie Davies

The cobalt market needs to find a way to price intermediate products while their share of the overall market grows, Eurasian Resource Group’s Head of Strategic Cobalt Marketing Tony Southgate told Metal Bulletin.

Intermediates production will continue to outpace metal production, driven by battery sector growth in particular, Southgate predicts.

“The preferred feed into the battery sector is intermediates, not metal. And the intermediates proportion of the market is only going to get bigger,” Southgate told Metal Bulletin on the sidelines of Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“At some point in the next few years, we have to decide how intermediates are sold. At the moment they are linked to metal prices and you can ask why their prices are dictated by a smaller part of the market. There has to be a mechanism that reflects the fundamentals of the hydroxide market, because all the new growth is there,” he said.

“Metal Bulletin has started to address this through its price review and that is a positive step,” Southgate said.


Metal Bulletin launched a consultation on the future of cobalt pricing in November 2017.

The two-stage consultation includes changes to the current specifications as well as a more transformative approach to cobalt pricing, following a longer industry discussion.