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Chinese Cobalt Supplier Huayou to Invest $20 Billion in Morocco Plant

Chinese Cobalt Supplier Huayou to Invest $20 Billion in Morocco Plant

Image from Moroccoworldnews


Chinese cobalt supplier Huayou unveiled plans to invest MAD 200 billion ($20 billion) in a factory dedicated to manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles in Morocco’s Laayoune Sakya Al Hamra province.

According to the converging report, the news was announced during a visit of the Chinese delegation, the director of the CRI for the Laayoune-Sakya El Hamra region to the location of the prospective plant.

The plant is the result of collaboration between the Regional Investment Center (CRI) of Laâyoune Sakya Al Hamra and the Moroccan Agency for Investment Development (AMDI), reports indicate. 

The project is projected to meet the rising demand for electric battery components in both the domestic and international market. 

The plant is projected to produce components for EV batteries that could supply 6 million vehicles by 2030. The project is also expected to create over 13,000 direct job opportunities. 

In recent years, Morocco saw a rise in the number of companies interested in investing in cobalt. In January 2022, Managem, a Moroccan mining company, announced a partnership with the Anglo-Swiss multinational Glencore to produce cobalt from recycled battery materials at Managem’s CTT Hydrometallurgical Refinery in Guemssa, located 30 kilometers off Marrakech. 

Morocco, alongside Canada, is by far the only producer of pure cobalt. The country currently ranks as the 12th largest cobalt exporters globally. 

With its substantial reserve of cobalt, the North African country has the potential to play a major role in the global transition from fossil fuel.

In 2020, Morocco signed a cobalt extraction agreement with German luxury manufacturer BMW. As part of the deal, BMW moved cobalt extraction operations from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to a supply deal with Managem. 

Despite having the world’s largest reserves of cobalt, reports of child labor in cobalt mines hinder the DRC’s reputation.

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