#Congo aims to launch state #Cobalt monopoly in two months, mines minister says
June 26 (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo will begin its state-controlled buying of artisanal cobalt in about two months time, having been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the mines minister said on Thursday.
In January, the government created the Entreprise Generale du Cobalt as a subsidiary of state mining company Gecamines to purchase and market all cobalt that is not mined industrially in an effort to exert greater influence over prices.
Congo dominates global production of cobalt, the metal used in batteries, and is expected to supply 70% of the world’s cobalt in 2020.
One fifth of the cobalt it produces is mined manually by subsistence, or “artisanal”, miners, making setting up a state monopoly a huge and complex task.