12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China

Interview with Liang Jiankun, Chairman of Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co., Ltd.

Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co., Ltd. was founded in 1997, and is specialized in the production and sales of cobalt, copper and related chemical compounds such as cobalt powder, cobalt series and copper cathode. The headquarter is located in Jiangning Development Zone, Nanjing and its subsidiaries are Metal Mines SPRL in Congo and Jiangsu Runjie New Materials Co., Ltd. in China. The leading product is cobalt powder, with an annual production capacity of about 1,500 metal tons in 2010 and it will be expanded to 2,000 metal tons in 2011. The core value of Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co., Ltd. is building brand based on quality and developing with honesty.
Liang Jiankun: Cobalt powder market review in 2010 and outlook in 2011
----Interview with Liang Jiankun, Chairman of Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co., Ltd.
Asian Metal: Thank you for your acceptation of interview with Asian Metal. Please introduce Chinese cobalt powder market in 2010.
Mr. Liang: Economy recovered in China in 2010 and demand from cemented carbide and diamond tools industries increased dramatically. According to statistics, the demand rose by about 50% compared with 2009, which drove up the sales of cobalt powder. Supply could not meet the demand in 2010. However, the profits did not increase much with the good sales as raw materials cost accounts for more than 90% of the total cost of cobalt powder. Because cobalt concentrates supply is controlled by several big suppliers and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo increased taxes in April 2010, the cost of cobalt powder remained high. However, cobalt powder price kept at a low level just like cobalt metal.
Asian Metal: Please share with us your opinion about current cobalt powder market.
Mr. Liang: Demand for cobalt powder from cemented carbide and diamond tools sectors rose quickly in 2010. I think it is mainly because economy recovered after the crisis in 2008 and downstream factories replenished stock, which is under the special circumstance. In early 2011, all cobalt powder producers were carrying out the orders signed at the end of 2010. At present, cobalt powder market is quiet in thin trading. In my opinion, cobalt powder price will rise slightly in the first half of 2010, but the concluded amount will decrease compared with the same period of last year.
Asian Metal: How do you think about the situation of supply and demand in cobalt powder market?
Mr. Liang: At the present time, cobalt powder supply is sufficient. Considering of the strong demand condition of last year and other factors, many cobalt powder and cobalt salts producers are expanding production capacities and building new projects. According to incomplete statistics, total production capacity of cobalt powder in China will reach 10,000t at the end of June in 2011. The total consumption of cobalt powder from cemented carbide and diamond tools industries will not exceed 2,500t and the annual export volume of Chinese cobalt powder will be not more than 1,000t in total, so cobalt powder market is seriously oversupplied.
Asian Metal: Generally speaking, cemented carbide and diamond tools industries recovered quickly in 2010. Please tell us your viewpoint on demand situation in cobalt powder market in 2010 and the outlook in 2011.
Mr. Liang: According to our incomplete statistics, demand for cobalt powder in 2010 is about 2,500t in total, which hit the new record in history. Demand increased quickly, which surprised all cobalt powder producers. The condition will not change in the first half of 2011, while demand will decrease in the second half of this year and the price will be on the falling tendency. We predict that the consumption of cobalt powder will be about 2,200t in 2011.
Asian Metal: In China, there are only three cobalt powder exporters: Nanjing Hanrui Cobalt Co., Ltd., Shanghai Bailuoda Metal Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Gelinmei High-Tech Co., Ltd. With demand from oversees market increasing, the export market continues to improve. Please briefly introduce the situation of cobalt powder export market in 2010 and the prospect in 2011.
Mr. Liang: Cobalt powder export hit new record in 2010 and the total export volume of cobalt powder reached 900t and I predict that the export will rise in 2011, but it will not exceed 1,200t.
I do not hold optimistic attitude towards cobalt powder export in the next three years. Firstly, we have a long way to go in the quality of cobalt powder made in China when compared with Umicore, OMG. Secondly, our enterprises are small-sized and the supply of raw materials is unstable. The environmental protection is not up to international standard.
Asian Metal: There are not many manufactures of cobalt powder in China, while there are many cemented carbide and diamond tools corporations. Do you have any suggestions for cobalt powder producers and downstream producers?
Mr. Liang: Cobalt is one of minor metals and global demand for cobalt is about 70,000 metal tons and the annual consumption in China is less than 20,000 metal tons. Cobalt powder is a very small product of cobalt, accounting for about 11-13% of the total consumption. Cobalt powder market is seriously over-supplied, which leads to vicious price competition. I think we should enhance our quality rather than blindly expand production capacity.
For cemented carbide and diamond tools producers, I think they should organize the purchasing of cobalt powder rationally, abide by stable quality assurance system, raw materials assurance system and do not blindly gamble the market. If downstream consumers pursue low cobalt powder price blindly, it will be unfavorable for both suppliers and users.
Asian Metal: Except for quality and marketing strategies, the cost control is also crucial for a company. We know that Hanrui keeps paying much attention to cost control and has built a factory in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A new project, with an annual output of 6,000t of copper cathode of METAL MINES (A subsidiary of Hanrui) was put into production on January 1, 2011, which helps to improve the purity of intermediate cobalt products and enhance cost competitiveness. Please talk about the situation of the process of collecting cobalt ore in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mr. Liang: Most of the world source of cobalt is in Africa and about 70% of cobalt raw materials come from the Democratic Republic of Congo. China deeply relies on raw materials from the DRC and about 95% of Chinese cobalt raw materials are imported from this country, so we have to go to that place to get cobalt ore. Hanrui began to seek cobalt concentrates in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the end of 2006 and has established three cu &co mines and four production lines so far. The first production line can produce 1,500 metal tons of crude cobalt carbonate and the second production line can process 10,000 tons of cobalt concentrates. The third production line is with an annual output of about 6,000t of copper cathode and we also match the normal production with the fourth line, with an annual production capacity of 10,000 sulfuric acid.
Those projects were put into trial production at the end of 2010. Currently, Hanrui’s own cobalt concentrates can meet our demand and we increase new product of copper cathode, which shapes a solid foundation for the future development of Hanrui.
Asian Metal: 2010 was very important for Hanrui and Hanrui completed the expansion, transformation. Please share with us about the plans in 2011.
Mr. Liang: The development of an enterprise must be based on solid foundation. During 13 years development of Hanrui, we emphasize technical development, quality, cost control and service. The industry chain from cobalt concentrates collecting to crude processing to refined processing to cobalt powder, is the security of stable quality. In addition, we establish a smelting plant, with an annual production capacity of about 2,000 metal tons of cobalt oxalate and we expand the production capacity of cobalt powder to 2,000t from 1,200t. Cobalt powder is always our core product and at the same time, we are actively developing other metal product.
Asian Metal: Thank you for sharing with us about cobalt powder market and we wish Hanrui will develop better and better in the coming few years.