Cobalt

Sustainability Monitor

Roskill’s Cobalt Sustainability Monitor examines the key environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors which face the industry. The monitor includes an analysis of CO2 emissions associated with production, both now and in the future, as well as information and a discussion regarding artisanal mining and child labour practises and their prevalence within the supply chain.

In recent years, the cobalt sector has come under scrutiny regarding the social cost of upstream extraction, predominantly within the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC is expected to be the source for approximately 69% of mined cobalt in 2020, meaning a significant quantity of the World’s supply originates from areas ranking poorly in terms of corruption and working conditions. Cobalt producers within the DRC, as well as refiners have been the subject of numerous allegations relating to illegal mining practises, a lack of supply chain oversight and governmental corruption. With demand for EV’s and energy storage set to increase significantly over the next decade, downstream investors are becoming increasingly concerned with supply chain sustainability across all battery metals, particularly cobalt. These concerns will only increase as greater volumes of production are required to feed demand.

Worls mine production of Cobalt

Energy consumption and emissions intensity

Roskill’s in-house CO2 and energy intensity analysis provides a comprehensive coverage of all operating mines within the cobalt supply chain in 2020, as well as analysis on a selection of the most prominent development projects. This analysis details the major high-energy and high-emission production segments of the supply chain.

Roskill’s analysis is carried out on an asset by asset basis with both energy and emissions intensity standardised to a per tonne of cobalt sulphate basis for comparison across the industry. Also included are fuel use breakdowns, production stage energy and emissions intensity data. 

Outlook on supply chain sustainability

Over the longer term, as downstream investors begin to demand greater operating standards and viable project development within cobalt production, Roskill expects to see a shift towards more sustainable cobalt supply in the market. In its current form, the production conditions are causing many automotive manufacturers to question their reliance on cobalt in battery technology. The result is renewed calls for Responsible Sourcing Initiatives (RSI’s) from manufacturers and governments aiming to drive higher standards of production via active oversight of the supply chain to ensure future production can both meet demand and provide optimal working conditions and compensation for those providing it.

Roskill experts will answer your questions…

    • Which operations are most sustainable from an emissions viewpoint? With CO2 intensities for all operations broken out by fuel type and operations segment.
    • What are the biggest social and governance challenges facing cobalt production today?
    • How will future developments in battery technology affect the supply of cobalt.
    • How will producers respond to RSI’s from downstream investors and government bodies and how will production conditions change?
    • Which operations have the higher carbon footprints and energy intensities?

Subscribe now and receive:

  • Detailed report with breakdowns of energy consumption and emissions output in cobalt production.
  • Access to the report via Roskill Interactive for up to 5 users
  • Access to Roskill specialists for key industry queries
  • Option to download tables and graphs from the report
  • A summary PowerPoint of key report findings