As prices for lithium carbonate ascended to record levels due to overwhelming demand for the metal in battery production, 2017 could be labeled “The Year of Lithium” with daily mining industry headlines related to its exploration, production and processing sharing the spotlight with concerns about a looming global copper shortage. However, somewhat lost in the shadows of these two trending commodities was the concurrent rise of cobalt — another essential material for advanced battery production

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(img: Workers strip cobalt from stainless steel anodes at Katanga Mining’s Luilu metallurgical plant in the Congo.)