China’s CMOC cobalt output jumps 174% in 2023

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese metal producer CMOC Group said on Thursday its cobalt production last year jumped 174% to 55,526 metric tons.

That could make the company the world’s No.1 cobalt producer, it added.

Swiss-based producer Glencore, which had been the top producer, gave 2023 cobalt output guidance of 34,000 to 42,000 tons in its third-quarter production report.

CMOC is among the Chinese-owned companies aggressively expanding cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The metal is chiefly used in electric vehicle batteries, the aerospace and chemical sectors.

The company resumed its Congo metal exports last April after resolving a dispute with state miner Gecamines over mineral royalty payments.

CMOC produced 419,539 tons of copper in 2023, up 51% from 276,992 in 2022, it said.

The company expects further increases in both copper and cobalt output this year, with higher production by its Tenke Fungurume and Kisanfu mines in the DRC.

(Reporting by Siyi Liu and Mei Mei Chu; editing by Jason Neely)