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Cobalt Ore, Uses of Cobalt (Co), Properties, Map, Facts

Cobalt Ore

Cobalt Ore is a hard ferromagnetic element that is silver-white, lustrous, and brittle. It is air-stable and does not react with water. It can be magnetized like other metals. Some of the most common cobalt ores include Cobaltite (CoAsS), Skutterudite (CoAs3) etc. Cobalt Ore is typically mined in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Canada, Russia, and Australia. The extracted ore is then processed to extract the cobalt metal.

Read More: Types of Resources

What is Cobalt?

The periodic table group VIII includes the element cobalt. Its physical properties are similar to those of iron and nickel. Cobalt can be found in plants and animals, as well as in air, water, soil, and rocks. It could also enter another environment via wind-blown dust or rainwater washing down cobalt-containing soil and rock. The free element is a hard, lustrous silver-grey metal produced by reductive smelting. Cobalt constitutes only 0.001% of the Earth’s crust.

The majority of the cobalt on Earth is found in its core. Cobalt is used to make parts for aircraft engines, gas turbines, high-speed steels, corrosion-resistant alloys, and cemented carbides. Magnets and magnetic recording media also contain them. Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope, is used in medical treatment and to irradiate food. Cobalt is stable in the air and unaffected by water, but dilute acids attack it slowly.

Read about: Minerals

Cobalt Distribution in India

Cobalt has been found in the districts of various States of India which is given below in the table.

State District
Jharkhand Singhbhum
Odisha Kendujhar
Rajasthan Jhunjhunu
Nagaland Tuensang
Madhya Pradesh Jhabua

Read about: Energy Resources

Cobalt Distribution in World Map

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s largest producer, followed by Russia and Australia. Congo accounts for more than half of global cobalt mine output.


Cobalt Ore Uses

Cobalt is used in various industries and applications such as:

  • Many alloys and superalloys contain cobalt. They are used to make parts for aircraft engines, gas turbines, high-speed steels, corrosion-resistant alloys, and cemented carbides.
  • Cobalt is also used in the petroleum and chemical industries as a catalyst.
  • Paints and inks use cobalt as a drying agent.
  • Artists and craftspeople primarily use it in porcelain, stained-glass pottery, enamel jewellery, and tiles.
  • It is also an essential mineral used for batteries in electric cars, computers, and cell phones.

Cobalt Ore Properties

Cobalt is a chemical element with the symbol Co and atomic number 27. Some of its properties are:

  • It is a hard ferromagnetic element that is silver-white, lustrous, and brittle.
  • It is air-stable and does not react with water.
  • It, like other metals, can be magnetised.
  • It reacts slowly with dilute acids.
  • The metal melts at 1495 degrees Celsius and boils at 2927 degrees Celsius.

Cobalt  UPSC

KABIL, an Indian mining joint venture formed by state-owned companies National Aluminium Co, Hindustan Copper Ltd, and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd, has signed a preliminary agreement with Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO). The goal is to look into lithium and cobalt mines in Australia.

Over the next six months, India has agreed to invest $6 million with the Australian government to explore lithium and cobalt mines in Australia. India is offering $2.4 billion in incentives to companies that build battery cells for electric vehicles in India. The agreement also allows for the inclusion of any other Indian state-run firm as an investment partner, and it is expected that the due diligence process will be completed and additional investment decisions will be made within the next six months.

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What is the ore of cobalt?

Some cobalt is now produced specifically from a variety of metallic-lustred ores, such as cobaltite (CoAsS). However, the element is more commonly produced as a byproduct of copper and nickel mining.

Where do you find cobalt ore?

Cobalt is mined all over the world, with the vast majority coming as a byproduct of large-scale copper and nickel mines. Only in Morocco and some Canadian arsenide ores is cobalt extracted alone.

Why is cobalt so valuable?

Cobalt is not a particularly scarce metal. Cobalt ranks 32nd in global abundance among metals, according to statista.com, but advances in the battery industry have increased overall cobalt demand. Because of the increased demand for lithium-ion batteries, cobalt has become increasingly expensive.

Is cobalt found in India?

Cobalt can be found in nickeliferous limonite/laterite in Sukinda, Jajpur district, Odisha, as well as copper slags produced by HCL.

Who has the largest reserves of cobalt?

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the world's largest cobalt reserves, with 3.5 million metric tonnes as of 2021. With a total global cobalt reserve of 7.6 million metric tonnes, DR Congo's cobalt reserves account for nearly half of the world's cobalt reserves.

Who has the largest supply of cobalt?

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is by far the world's largest cobalt producer, accounting for roughly 70% of global output.


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