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Share of cobalt in lithium-ion battery cathodes by type 2017

Cobalt accounted for a 55 percent share of the composition of lithium cobalt oxide batteries (LCO), also known as lithium cobaltate or lithium-ion-cobalt batteries, as of 2017.

Cobalt: an overview

Cobalt is a silver-grey metal that is also a chemical element. Cobalt’s primary ores are cobaltite and erythrite. It is typically recovered as a byproduct of mining nickel, silver, lead, copper, and iron. Some of its uses include making alloys for jet engines, magnetic steels, stainless steels, and as well as batteries. Cobalt is also essential for making airbags in cars, drying agents for paints, and rechargeable battery electrodes. In 2017 the global demand for cobalt in batteries was 38 kilotons. This is expected to significantly increase and reach 117 kilotons in 2025.

Cobalt production

The leading producer of cobalt worldwide in 2019 was British-Swiss company, Glencore. In that year they produced about 42,200 metric tons of cobalt. The total global production volume of cobalt was 140,000 metric tons in 2018.

Cobalt composition share in selected lithium-ion battery cathodes as of 2017

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Release date

January 2017



Survey time period

as of 2017

Supplementary notes

* Also known as lithium cobaltate or lithium-ion-cobalt batteries.
** Also known as lithium-manganese-cobalt-oxide batteries

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Statistics on "Lithium-ion batteries worldwide"

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