Minor metals, major impact


It’s turning out to be a great year for minor metals, reports Bloomberg.

Rechargeable-battery ingredient cobalt has gained 83%, while ruthenium, used in the chemical industry and electronics, is up 63%. The latest star is vanadium, an obscure silvery-grey metal thought to have been used to harden steel as far back as the Crusades.

Vanadium, which is also used in energy-storage batteries, has surged 67% since mid-July. Much of its rise has been driven by policy changes in Beijing. The China Iron & Steel Research Institute has proposed increasing the amount of vanadium required in construction steel, which would boost consumption. The new standard is expected to be announced in September.

“There are fundamental supply and demand issues that have driven the re-rating. Prices could go higher,” said Julian Treger, chief executive officer of Anglo Pacific Group Plc, which owns vanadium royalties. (Source: Bloomberg))

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