Samsung signs five-year cobalt supply deal with Glencore

11 February 2020

Samsung SDI has signed a five-year deal with miner Glencore for up to 21,000 tonnes of ethically-sourced cobalt.

The cobalt, to be delivered between 2020 and 2024, will be sourced from Glencore’s mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Nico Paraskevas, head of copper and cobalt marketing at Glencore, said: “This demonstrates a further continuation of Glencore’s cobalt hydroxide marketing strategy to secure long-term supply agreements with key players in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with Samsung SDI by entering into this long-term cobalt supply agreement.”

Glencore plans to supply 45% of its 2019 cobalt production, or about 63% of its expected total output for 2020, to Samsung, according to Mining.com. 

The DRC is high risk for human rights abuses and Samsung and Glencore have agreed to uphold “the ethical and responsible production and procurement of cobalt”.

Samsung and Glencore have agreed mining operations in the DRC will be given independent, annual audits against the Cobalt Refinery Supply Chain Due Diligence Standard, under the Responsible Mining Initiative.

The global EV market has grown by about 63% year-on-year since 2014, reaching 2.1m sales in 2018, according to McKinsey and Co.

In 2019 US manufacturer Tesla sold the most EVs worldwide, selling between 367,000 and 368,000 units, according to Statista.

Samsung SDI manufactures rechargeable batteries for the IT industry, automobiles, and energy storage systems, as well as semiconductors, displays, and solar panels.

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