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28 07 2017 03

In response to a supply shortage of cobalt, a key ingredient used in lithium-ion batteries, South Korean battery makers Samsung SDI and LG Chem are stepping up development of new batteries and diversifying their material suppliers.

Amid growing demand for the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and smartphones, cobalt, the key energy metal, has seen a decline in production this year driven mainly by the unstable political situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which accounts for more than half of global cobalt production.

In July, the price of cobalt came to $61,000 per ton, a 90 percent jump from early in the year, according to industry data.

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