Glencore Plc agreed to an offtake deal with Missouri Cobalt LLC, giving the world’s biggest commodity trader more exposure to the crucial battery ingredient.
The agreement follows a steep rise in the price of battery metals over the past year amid surging sales of electric vehicles. The spike in costs has threatened carmakers’ margins, while rising demand has sparked fears of a shortage of mined raw materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.
Glencore will buy all of Missouri Cobalt’s production of those three metals, the trading house said Wednesday in a statement. It gave no details of the offtake terms, saying only there’s “significant embedded pre-payment.” It also said the two companies will explore other joint opportunities, including recycling.
Glencore, already the leading cobalt producer from its mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has struck a series of deals in recent weeks to secure more metals by recycling old batteries.
Missouri Cobalt, which operates the Madison mine in the U.S. state, said in a separate statement that it was changing its name to United States Strategic Metals LLC. The company hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last year to assess the possibility of a public listing, Reuters reported in June.
(By Thomas Biesheuvel)