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The Grey Stock Market Driver (Part 1)

24 January 2008 - Features - Editor

Stock market sentiment is notorious for being irrational, but there could be methods to the madness! You have to be a geologist or involved in making batteries, if you are to be excited by looking at a dull, grey piece of cobalt. Most people who would never bother to look beyond the headlines of copper and zinc mines, or of developments in places such as the Congo, have no idea how much their precious stocks are affected by cobalt reserves. Can you live without cell phones again? Do you agree that cars with hybrid engines are the way to go? Your financial planning could be more dependant on cobalt than you know!

The bliss of ignorance about cobalt is probably short lived. It could even take the place of fossil fuels in the Middle East, as the US of tomorrow grapples with the clever cornering of world cobalt supplies by our adversaries. We are the world’s greediest when it comes to exhausting limited cobalt supplies, but mine not a pound from our own land! They say that stock investing is all about discovering hidden values: well how about cobalt sourcing? There could still be some top guns around who believe that cobalt is not an issue, but most have not really given the matter much thought!

Key Cobalt Stock Market Players

Japan is special for the United States in terms of links between our financial planning and cobalt. The Land of the Rising Sun, as usual, produces nothing, but has assiduously built up access to global cobalt reserves. That is why only Detroit has to worry about the dominance of Japanese auto makers in the hybrid-engine business. The latter nestles nicely with Japanese dependence on the US for its vital security concerns, and its modern political heritage of toeing the US line, even if reluctantly.

However, the good news tapers off sharply when we consider who all actually sit on significant cobalt reserves. Russia, Cuba, and the Congo are the posters boys-or girls if you prefer-of cobalt. We offer no prizes for guessing that China has lost little time in matching the Japanese in the cobalt hoarding game, ton for ton! US stocks are enslaved through this grey metal.

Hang on before you start selling all your stocks, because there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon. Sherritt International Corporation is a reassuringly North American company, listed on the Toronto stock exchange. Sherritt seems to have escaped the eagle eye of Washington, and has secured a firm hold on Cuban cobalt reserves. The communist media of Havana supports Canadian efforts to work Cuban nickel and cobalt mines. President Fidel Castro has personally shared a platform with the President of Sherritt International, to announce huge expansion of cobalt mining in Cuba.

The Grey Stock Market Driver (Part 2)

 


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