The demand and production of electric cars is pushing the prices for cobalt and nickel to historic levels. According to the Financial Times the price for the battery metal, cobalt, has hit its highest level since 2008, prompted by rising demand from electric cars and the prospect of higher taxes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Prices for Cobalt have quadrupled over the past two years, selling at $40 per pound in March 2018, according to Metal Bulletin.
Cameroon is also feeling the effects of the current boom for cobalt exploration. A report by the KPMG, a renown Consultant and Audit firm, notes that Cameroon has a relative abundance of natural resources, including cobalt and nickle.
The report summarize that “The mining industry in Cameroon is still in its infancy stage, with activity being predominantly artisan in nature. However, the Central African nation has significant potential, and large proportions of its landmass have yet to be explored. As the state of infrastructure improves, we expect mining in Cameroon, especially iron ore and bauxite extraction, will prosper.”
Africa Mining Intelligence and National Times sources have reported that Bonaventure Mvondo Assam, nephew of President Paul Biya, recently submitted four cobalt and nickel research permits applications through his company Compagnie forestiere Assam (more on this in a subsequent Article by National Times News).
Besides Mr Mvondo Assam other operators are also on the lookout for these metals in Cameroon. In the past weeks, Lion Resources and Cameroon Cobalt filed a total of five cobalt and nickel research permits requests each, while Borely Mining submitted two. In late 2017, two applications had been placed by LC Minerals and five by ALM Resources.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expect that increase investment in the country’s mines will help the government generate much revenue to fund the construction of roads and other vital infrastructure.