Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Apple Inc. was in direct talks with an undisclosed mining company to secure long term cobalt supplies to support the mounting demands of the company’s power hungry device lineup.
Cobalt, a hard, silver-grey metal once used for jewellery and paints, is the primary component for today’s lithium-ion batteries. Valued at over US$37 per lb. — an increase of 100% from just the year before — the metal is a coveted chalice for power hungry manufacturers seeking footholds in the ever narrowing space.
The potential deal would mark one of several negotiated by vertically integrated manufacturers (VIMs) in recent months to secure supplies of metals required to satisfy expanding production targets. BMW, Volkswagen and Samsung are just some of the industry giants rallying to align themselves with raw material producers.
This transformation will likely transition well beyond power-centric commodities into other non-renewable resources — metal or otherwise — and may inadvertently have positive consequences beyond increased shareholder value.
Continue reading at The Northern Miner.