As a follow-up to Stuart’s post earlier today about Japan replenishing various key metals and the US’ need to do the same, a story released yesterday from Reuters mentions Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) was unable to come to price terms for the purchase of two strategic metals ” cobalt and ferro vanadium. This comes as no surprise, particularly in terms of cobalt which is currently in short supply. The supply market should ease somewhat as producers that shut down operations this summer re-open again in the fall.
In addition, cobalt will be available via a futures contract early next year on the London Metal Exchange. The LME will publish a daily price.
The last time Japan went out to the market for these items was back in 1993 for cobalt and 1994 for ferro vanadium. Too bad the Japanese didn’t find any of these metals when they uncovered their latest uranium source, on the moon!
Now wouldn’t the moon be an interesting solution to the rare earth/critical metals supply problem!