Umicore absorbs Finish group’s cobalt refining activity
Belgian battery materials technology and recycling group Umicore purchased part of Finish Freeport Cobalt last Friday for 150 million dollars.
It absorbs the Fin’s cobalt refining and precursor cathode manufacturing activities. According to Umicore, this is a major step towards the EU battery material chain expansion.
After the last few weeks, financial experts saluted the announcement of the purchase. Indeed, in five weeks Umicore’s stock worth fell by 39%. This is majorly due to the decrease in electric car demand in China.
Last May 12, Chairman of the Board Thomas Leysen tried to reassure investors that there was no reason to panic. “I’m confident in Umicore’s capacity to continue to develop during the next 4 to 5 upcoming years”, he declared.
Cobalt and cathode technology
Last Friday, Umicore announced that it was absorbing Freeport Cobalt’s refining and cathode manufacturing activities. “Umicore further expands its supply chain by locking the sources of raw materials and its processing capabilities in a context of materials scarcity”, declares Stijn Demeester from ING.
“Umicore is now ideally placed to serve its clients’ European operations in automotive battery manufacturing, thanks to a completely integrated, sustainable and local supply chain”, notes the group in a press release. Also BMW, with which it teamed up to create the first European battery supply chain, will benefit from this recent purchase.
Umicore only absorbs the cobalt refining and cathode manufacturing activities. The rest – including fine powders, chemical products, catalysts, ceramics or pigments – will continue to be manufactured by Freeport Cobalt. According to Umicore, the Kokkola refinery is the biggest in Europe. It employs 250 people.