BMW locks in cobalt supply from Murrin Murrin, CTT

Carmaker BMW has locked in supply of cobalt metal produced at Murrin Murrin and CTT for the production of electric vehicles, market sources confirmed to Fastmarkets.

Material will be supplied to BMW from 2020, sources added, though details on tonnage or price terms were not immediately available.

About 1,800 tonnes per year of cobalt are produced at the CTT mine in Morocco in the form of broken cathode. Glencore produced 2,900 tonnes of cobalt briquettes at Murrin Murrin mine in Australia in 2018.

Spot sales of both CTT and Murrin Murrin branded cobalt are accounted for within Fastmarkets’ standard-grade price assessment for cobalt, typically used as the benchmark in contractual negotiations across the supply chain.

Fastmarkets assessed the standard-grade cobalt price at $15.90-16.95 per lb, in-warehouse, on Wednesday April 24, up from the previous assessment of $15.60-16.75 per lb.

The benchmark price peaked at $43.70-44.45 per lb a year ago. It had rallied as a result of anticipated demand from the battery and electric vehicle sector, but has since fallen heavily, with much of that demand yet to come to fruition, while cobalt hydroxide supplies have increased.