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September 2, 2014

SPOTLIGHT ON EBOLA: African Border Controls on Copper and Cobalt

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MetalBulletin.com - September 2, 2014 - London
Excerpt from the MetalBulletin Article

SPOTLIGHT ON EBOLA: African Border Controls on Copper and Cobalt

Border controls, the result of Ebola in the DRC, are beginning to affect the metals markets.

Botswana’s government has banned anybody from the DRC entering its country. Other countries’ authorities have introduced driver health checks at border crossings, and imposed restrictions on their future movements.

Why does it matter?

The DRC is the world’s biggest cobalt producer and the sixth biggest copper producer. The country is expected to produce more than 900,000 tonnes of mined copper in 2014, according to Metal Bulletin Research analysts.

Total mined cobalt production in the DRC grew to an estimated 51,500 tonnes in 2013, up 9% from 2012 and this raw material contributes to 61% of global refined cobalt supply, according to UK-based cobalt trading house Darton Commodities.

The restrictions on driver movements could slow the arrival of copper and cobalt to the market…The scale of any longer-term impact will depend on whether Ebola spreads further. Further cases of the virus within the DRC could prompt further border restrictions. Any potential restriction on the DRC/Zambia border would be particularly worrying, as practically all of the DRC’s copper and cobalt crosses this border…

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View the Previous News Release:
August 28th, 2014, Cobalt Market on Alert After Reports of Blocked Border Due to Ebola
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September 3rd, 2014, Jinchuan Will Cut Cobalt Metal Supply to Half in September