Chinese cobalt imports fell 41.8% last year compared to the volumes shipped from the DRC in 2019, according to the mining news website Argus Media. The lockdowns in response to COVID-19 at the mines in the DRC and at South African ports, from where the precious metal is shipped, were both to blame according to analysts.
The downturn came as Chinese companies expanded their already sizable influence in the DRC mining sector through a number of high profile acquisitions, including the December purchase by China Molybdenum of the Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine from U.S.-based Freeport-McMoRan for $550 million.
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