CTT halts production amid lockdown in Morocco

Compagnie de Tifnout Tiranimine (CTT) has suspended production at its cobalt mine and plant in Morocco amid a 14-day lockdown in the country aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), sources close to the matter have confirmed.

The shutdown started on Tuesday March 24 and is initially slated to last for two weeks, Fastmarkets understands. The duration could be subject to an extension beyond two weeks and no fresh shipments of material from stock at the plant in Morocco can be made during this time.

CTT produces cobalt in the form of broken cathodes, with capacity of about 1,800 tonnes per year. The units are marketed by Switzerland-based Manatrade, of which CTT is a fully-owned subsidiary.

The price for cobalt standard grade, in-whs Rotterdam, which incorporates CTT broken cathodes, was $16.30-16.70 per lb on Monday, down from $16.85-17.15 per lb a week ago as a result of weakening demand. The prices will next be assessed later today.