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China looms as winner from Glencore’s cobalt dispute in Congo

The fate of Glencore’s mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo could determine who controls cobalt, a metal whose price has soared given its use in electric car batteries.

Glencore is the world’s largest supplier of cobalt, and is set to more than double its production by 2020. But its operations in the DRC have been challenged by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, the company’s former business partner, who was sanctioned by the US in December.

Mr Gertler, who the US accused of “ opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals” in the Congo, last month launched legal action against Glencore for failing to pay him royalties under existing contracts. Continue reading…