Jinchuan Group to conduct maintenance at cobalt smelter in early June, output to be affected

Chinese multi-metal company Jinchuan Group will conduct maintenance at its cobalt smelter in Gansu Province in early June, market sources told Fastmarkets on Friday May 22.

The maintenance period will last about 15 days and is expected to result in the loss of 200 tonnes of cobalt metal production, Fastmarkets understands.

Jinchuan Group produces cobalt metal in the form of cut cathode and has an annual output of around 4,500 tonnes.

The company is also involved in the production of nickel, nickel and cobalt salts and battery precursor materials.

News of the disruption comes at a time when China’s cobalt metal market is already benefitting from optimism surrounding expectations of further stimulus measures being introduced by the government to boost the economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for cobalt 99.8% Co min, ex-works China was 245,000-255,000 yuan ($34,463-35,870) per tonne on Wednesday, up by 5,000 yuan per tonne (2%) from 240,000-250,000 yuan per tonne on May 15. The latest assessment is equivalent to $13.80-14.40 per lb, minus value-added tax.

Prices for the blue metal in China had stagnated at depressed levels in late April to early May before starting to edge up steadily from May 8.

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