Country Listing

Zaire Table of Contents



Zaire has traditionally been the world's largest producer and exporter of cobalt, accounting for about half of all production. Cobalt production in Zaire is entirely a byproduct of copper mining by Gécamines. The company produced 9,429 tons of cobalt in 1989 and 10,033 tons in 1990, but production fell to 8,800 tons in 1991 and to 6,600 tons in 1992. Production in 1993 was projected to fall to about 3,500 tons. World cobalt prices are extremely volatile, and true to form they fluctuated dramatically in the 1980s and early 1990s. The market price rose temporarily in early 1992, but because of its reduced production, Zaire was not able to capitalize on this favorable situation.

Data as of December 1993