One of the biggest stories was the incredible climb of cobalt in the markets as mines struggle to produce enough of this mineral which is required in the creation of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, computers, and cell phones. According to Global Energy Metals, total global cobalt demand is on track to exceed 120,000 tonnes annually by 2020, up approximately 30% from the 93,950 tonnes consumed in 2016. The bulk of this is due to the lithium ion battery.
Apple decided to go straight to the mine itself and start doing deals. The market quickly started to recognize that demand was exceeding rapidly which left Apple in a tough position as they obviously feel they deserve a deal, and not have to go to the market.