ENRC’s Tony Southgate, who runs the company’s cobalt book, and cobalt marketer Matthew Ashley have both resigned, according to market sources.

Southgate is understood to be serving his notice period, while Ashley is due to leave this week having already served his notice, sources said.

Ashley is understood to be joining Gerald Metals in its logistics department, while Southgate's next move was not known to Metal Bulletin at the time of writing. 

Southgate joined ENRC from Standard Bank in 2011.

Ashley joined the miner's cobalt division a year later from London-based cobalt trading house SFP Metals.

The departures come as ENRC stops production of Chambishi cobalt metal for three months to build up stocks of sulphide ore.

There has been speculation among market participants that the stoppage will continue for longer than planned.

ENRC and Gerald Metals had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

Chambishi Metals ceo Hiro Sign recently stressed that the company has only temporarily shut down the cobalt plant in Zambia and that it has sent 170 workers home on full pay.

The news from Zambia drove cobalt prices more than 5% higher in just a few days. 

Fleur Ritzema 
Twitter: FleurRitzema_MB