Investing in cobalt stocks

It’s rare and in high demand — before you invest, here’s what you should consider.

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Cobalt is one of the most rare, expensive and sought-after metals on the market. But an investment in cobalt is far from foolproof. Investors in Australia should be wary of the dangerous and violent conditions that contribute to instability in cobalt acquisition before investing in cobalt stocks.

What is cobalt and how is it used?

Cobalt is a hard, metallic element used to manufacture batteries, magnets, paints and chemical catalysts. It’s rare, valuable and in increasingly high demand thanks to the rise of electric vehicles.

Over two-thirds of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Other major cobalt producers include Cuba, Russia, Australia and the Philippines.

Why invest in cobalt stocks?

It’s no secret that the tide of vehicle manufacturing is shifting. Thanks to environmental movements worldwide, electric vehicles have become less of a novelty and more commonplace than ever before.

And what do electric vehicles need to function? Batteries.

Cobalt is an essential part of the electric vehicle manufacturing process, as it’s a key component of lithium-ion batteries. Many industry experts expect the demand for cobalt to rise in the coming years with the projected impact of electric vehicles on the automotive market.

Risks of investing in cobalt stocks

A major risk facing cobalt investors is the location of the majority of the world’s cobalt supply: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Historically, the DRC has been marked by political instability and civil unrest. Volatile political shifts have the potential to impact supply chains and security for cobalt operators in the DRC is far from guaranteed. The process of cobalt mining is also fraught with conditions that violate human rights.

As a result of the unstable and violent conditions that surround cobalt acquisition, a number of companies that rely on it, including Tesla, are actively seeking a workaround to avoid overreliance on the difficult-to-procure metal. As electric vehicles become more popular, some manufacturers are working to develop methods of electric power that reduce or eliminate the need for cobalt.

That said, such a solution is still many years from mass production. Industry experts suggest electric vehicles will continue to rely on cobalt.

Cobalt stocks

Most of the companies on this list don’t deal exclusively in cobalt — the mining and refining of cobalt is typically conducted in conjunction with another metal. Most cobalt stocks require an international brokerage account to trade, as few of these multinational companies trade on Australian exchanges.

Of the following list, Australian Mines, Clean TeQ and Carnavale Resources trade on the Australian Securities Exchange. Others must be purchased over-the-counter or from international exchanges.

Compare domestic trading platforms

Some cobalt stocks, like New World Resources and Cobalt Blue Holdings, are available on the ASX. That means you can easily purchase them with any brokerage account in Australia. The table below compares some of the most popular Australian brokers.

But if you plan to heavily trade cobalt, you’ll want to compare international brokerage accounts that offer access to foreign exchanges.

Name Product Standard brokerage fee Inactivity fee Markets International
eToro Share Trading (US stocks)
US$0
US$10 per month if there’s been no login for 12 months
US shares, ETFs
Yes
Zero brokerage share trading on US stocks with trades as low as $50.
Join the world’s biggest social trading network when you trade stocks, commodities and currencies from the one account.
Superhero share trading
$5
No
ASX shares, ETFs
No
Pay zero brokerage on all Australian ETFs.
Trade ASX stocks with a flat $5 commission fee and a low minimum investment of just $100.
ThinkMarkets Share Trading
$8
No
ASX shares, ETFs
No
Limited offer: Get 5 free ASX trades when you open a new account with ThinkMarkets before June 30, 2021 (T&Cs apply).
Buy and sell CHESS sponsored ASX shares with $0 brokerage on your first 5 trades. Only $8 flat fee brokerage thereafter, plus enjoy free live stock price data on an easy to use mobile app.
Bell Direct Share Trading
$15
No
ASX shares, mFunds, ETFs
No
⭐ Finder Exclusive: Get 5 free stock trades and unlimited ETF trades until July 31, 2021 when you join Bell Direct.
Bell Direct offers a one-second placement guarantee on market-to-limit ASX orders or your trade is free, plus enjoy extensive free research reports from top financial experts.
IG Share Trading
Finder Award
IG Share Trading
$8
$50 per quarter if you make fewer than three trades in that period
ASX shares, Global shares
Yes
$0 brokerage for US and global shares plus get an active trader discount of $5 commission on Australian shares.
Enjoy some of the lowest brokerage fees on the market when trading Australian shares, international shares, plus get access to 24-hour customer support.
Saxo Capital Markets (Classic account)
$6.99
No
ASX shares, Global shares, Forex, CFDs, Margin trading, Options trading, ETFs
Yes
Acess 19,000+ stocks on 37 exchanges worldwide
Low fees for Australian and global share trading, no inactivity fees, low currency conversion fee and optimised for mobile.
CMC Markets Stockbroking
$11
No
ASX shares, Global shares, mFunds, ETFs
Yes
$0 brokerage on global shares including US, UK and Japan markets.
Trade up to 9,000 products, including shares, ETFs and managed funds, plus access up to 15 major global and Australian stock exchanges.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Important: Share trading can be financially risky and the value of your investment can go down as well as up. “Standard brokerage” fee is the cost to trade $1,000 or less of ASX-listed shares and ETFs without any qualifications or special eligibility. If ASX shares aren’t available, the fee shown is for US shares. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.

Bottom line

Cobalt plays an important role in our modern society, contributing to the production of batteries, magnets and chemical catalysts. While its primary production lines in the DRC are far from stable, experts believe we will continue to need cobalt to produce electric vehicles in the coming years.

To invest in cobalt, you’ll likely need an international brokerage account. Compare your platform options to find the brokerage that best fits your needs.

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