12 Best Cobalt Stocks for the Electric Car Revolution

The shift to electric cars is critical as the world fights climate change. Lithium-ion batteries, the priciest component of electric cars, need lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Learn which cobalt stocks are poised to benefit from the shift to EVs.

SustainFi November 23, 2021

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Why invest in cobalt?

Demand for cobalt, a gray metal extracted from copper or nickel deposits, is exploding worldwide because it is used in batteries that power electric cars. Lithium-ion batteries represent around one-third of the cost of an EV, and metals are around a quarter of the battery cost.

Cobalt is a critical lithium-ion battery component. It prevents batteries from overheating, improving the car’s range and the battery’s longevity. It is also one of the more expensive metals used to make electric cars. Cobalt is used in smartphones, too, but in small quantities.

Cobalt prices have rallied as demand for cars increased. In 2021 year-to-date, cobalt is up over 90%. According to the IEA, 3 million EVs were sold in 2020 alone, up 41% from 2019.

While demand is growing, supply has been constrained. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) supplies two-thirds of the world’s cobalt, though two-thirds of refining takes place in China.

Many DRC mines are now owned by Chinese companies like China Molybdenum or Huayou Cobalt, though Swiss mining giant Glencore also operates mines in the area. New sources of cobalt are being developed in the U.S. and Australia, but mining projects can take over ten years from discovery to cobalt sales.

The lack of past investment in new mines, along with surging demand, can lead to a cobalt shortage as soon as 2025.

What are the best cobalt stocks?

Cobalt stocks list

Here is a list of 12 cobalt stocks:

  • Glencore (GLEN)
  • China Molybdenum Co (OTCMKTS: CMCLF)
  • Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co (SHA: 603799)
  • Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co Ltd (SHE:300618) 
  • Jinchuan Group International Resources Co Ltd (HKG: 2362)
  • Fortune Minerals Ltd (TSE: FT)
  • Panoramic Resources (ASX: PAN)
  • Jervois Global Limited (ASX: JRV)
  • First Cobalt Corp (CVE: FCC)
  • Canada Nickel (CVE: CNC)
  • Sherritt International (TSE: S)
  • Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX: COB)

Here is the list of the top 12 (mostly pure-play) cobalt stocks:

1. Glencore (GLEN)

  • Market capitalization: £50 billion
  • 1-year return: 78%

Switzerland-based Glencore is the world’s top cobalt producer, even though it’s not a cobalt pure-play. Glencore operates two of the largest cobalt mines, Katanga and Mutanda, in the DRC. It also produces cobalt as a by-product of nickel mining in Australia and Canada. Tesla has agreed to buy Glencore’s cobalt for its Shanghai and Berlin facilities.

In addition to cobalt, Glencore produces other metals and minerals, including copper, zinc, nickel, and ferroalloys. Copper and nickel are used for EV batteries, too. The company is also one of the largest recyclers of used batteries, which helps release some cobalt.

Glencore is a profitable business with over $142 billion in 2020 revenues. However, Glencore also has a thermal coal business, which makes it an unpopular name with the growing cohort of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investors.

2. China Molybdenum Co (OTCMKTS: CMCLF)

  • Market capitalization: $18 billion
  • 1-year return: 30%

Chinese government-backed China Molybdenum is one of the largest global cobalt producers. Its Tenke Fungurume mine in the DRC produces copper and cobalt; the company is currently expanding the mine’s operations. Like Glencore, China Molybdenum is not a cobalt pure-play. It is also a large producer of molybdenum, tungsten, niobium, and copper. China Molybdenum is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The stock has a market cap of over $18 billion.

3. Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co Ltd (SHA: 603799)

  • Market capitalization: $25 billion
  • 1-year return: 139%

China’s largest cobalt producer is Huayou Cobalt, a $25 billion company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Thanks to its DRC mines like Congo DangFang, the company supplies large battery manufacturers like LG Chem. It has also been expanding into other minerals like lithium and nickel. With over $3 billion in revenue, Huayou Cobalt is a large cobalt pure-play. The only problem is that the company does not have a U.S. listing, and most brokers don’t let you buy shares listed in mainland China, though there are some exceptions.

4. Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co Ltd (SHE:300618)

  • Market capitalization: $4 billion
  • 1-year return: 10%

Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt is another Chinese cobalt producer, operating the Metal Mines in the DRC. The company generates about $300 million in revenue and has a $4 billion market cap. Like Huayou Cobalt, this stock is only listed in mainland China, which makes it hard to access for most U.S. investors.

5. Jinchuan Group International Resources Co Ltd (HKG: 2362)

  • Market capitalization: $2 billion
  • 1-year return: 40%

Hong Kong-based Jinchuan Group is another Chinese mining company with interests in cobalt (including the Ruashi cobalt mine in the DRC), nickel, platinum, and copper. With over $500 million in revenue, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company has $2 billion in market cap.

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6. Fortune Minerals Ltd (TSE: FT)

  • Market capitalization: 52 million CAD
  • 1-year return: 100%

Canada-based Fortune Minerals is a development-stage cobalt mining company. Fortune Minerals is currently developing the NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper project in the Northwest Territories. It is also planning to build a cobalt refinery in southern Canada. The company’s goal is to become a reliable cobalt supplier in North America, which would offset the uncertainty and supply concentration in the DRC. As a development-stage company, Fortune Minerals doesn’t generate much revenue yet, and its stock is highly speculative.

7. Panoramic Resources (ASX: PAN)

  • Market capitalization: 417 million AUD
  • 1-year return: 64%

Panoramic Resources is an Australian mining company that produces nickel, copper, cobalt, gold, and platinum in Western Australia. The company is currently restarting its Savannah Nickel-Copper-Cobalt project after it was put on maintenance in 2016. First shipments are expected by the end of 2021. Panoramic Resources is a small company with mining operations in a single area. Concentrated in nickel, it is not a cobalt pure-play (even though cobalt can be found alongside nickel.) And, while Panoramic Resources is waiting for production at the Savannah project to restart, it doesn’t yet have any shipments or revenue.

8. Jervois Global Limited (ASX: JRV)

  • Market capitalization: 803 million AUD
  • 1-year return: 104%

Australian company Jervois is a cobalt development company with operations in Idaho and Australia. Jervois also has a nickel-cobalt refinery in Brazil. The Idaho mine is supposed to become the only cobalt mine in the U.S. Although Jervois is primarily focused on cobalt, it still has significant nickel and copper exposure. The company also made a splash when it acquired Freeport-McMoRan’s cobalt refinery in Kokkola, Finland, for $160 million. As a development stage company, Jervois doesn’t generate revenue, and its stock is quite speculative.

9. First Cobalt Corp (CVE: FCC)

  • Market capitalization: 195 million CAD
  • 1-year return: 169%

Toronto, Canada-based First Cobalt is building a cobalt refining facility in Canada. Once completed, it will be the first cobalt refinery in North America. The project should start producing cobalt in Q4 2022, but right now, First Cobalt has no revenue. In the future, First Cobalt also intends to recycle lithium-ion batteries to recover cobalt, nickel, and copper. Besides the refinery, First Cobalt owns a cobalt and copper deposit in Idaho, U.S.A, known as the Iron Creek Project. If developed, this could become a much-needed source of domestic cobalt supply.

10. Canada Nickel (CVE: CNC)

  • Market capitalization: 298 million CAD
  • 1-year return: 68%

Toronto-based Canada Nickel is developing the 100%-owned Crawford nickel-cobalt project in Ontario. The company is marketing a production process for net-zero cobalt, iron, and nickel products. In the meantime, this remains a speculative stock with $0 revenue and a small market cap.

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11. Sherritt International (TSE: S)

  • Market capitalization: 165 million CAD
  • 1-year return: 30%

Toronto, Canada-based Sherritt International is a nickel and cobalt mining company. Though its roots are in nickel, another beneficiary of the shift to electric cars, cobalt made up around 13% of sales in 2020. Sherritt is also the largest independent energy producer in Cuba. However, Sherritt’s largest mine, called Moa, is in Cuba, which exposes the business and its investors to geopolitical risks.

12. Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX: COB)

  • Market capitalization: 116 million AUD
  • 1-year return: 290%

Founded in 2016 and based in Australia, Cobalt Blue is developing a cobalt mining and refining operation near Broken Hill in New South Wales, Australia. Cobalt Blue believes that if Broken Hill were a country, it would rank number five for cobalt production. In the meantime, the project is in the demo stage, and Cobalt Blue continues to be a highly speculative stock with no revenue.

🔔 Want to invest in cobalt ETFs? See this list of the top 4 cobalt ETFs.

The cons of investing in cobalt

Cobalt is controversial and supply is concentrated in the DRC

Two-thirds of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where corruption, safety issues, and problems with child labor are widespread. The DRC is one of the poorest nations in the world, where most people don’t even have electricity. And child labor allegations have deterred carmakers like BMW from buying cobalt from the DRC.

The DRC is not a secure or stable source of supply, either. As a result, carmakers are trying to figure out how to use less cobalt.

Carmakers are trying to use less cobalt and develop alternatives

Carmakers are trying to reduce how much cobalt they use in EV batteries. For example, Tesla said that it was “aiming to achieve close to zero usage of cobalt in the near future.” Other carmakers are also trying to use less cobalt and more nickel.

However, achieving zero cobalt is very hard: low-cobalt batteries are more likely to overheat and catch fire. And, with the surge in EV production, demand for cobalt could grow even if less is used in each car.

Alternatives to cobalt-containing batteries are also being developed. Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) is the favorite alternative, though cars with LFP batteries have lower ranges. Another possible alternative, solid state batteries, also continue to have challenges.

Cobalt prices are volatile

Mining projects can take a long time, experiencing delays and higher-than-expected production costs. In the meantime, it’s hard to predict what cobalt prices are going to be. Although cobalt prices are up over 90% in 2021, they are still not back to the high in 2018.

How to invest in cobalt stocks

We recommend Public, a social investing app that lets you invest in stocks with any amount of money and see what others invest in.


NO INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the biggest cobalt producer?

With two-thirds of global production, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the world’s largest cobalt-producing country.

Glencore, a publicly listed stock, is the world’s largest cobalt-producing company. It gets cobalt from its two mines in the DRC and its nickel mines in Australia and Canada.