So why have cobalt prices stalled?
The surging demand for electric vehicles won't necessarily translate into cobalt price rises.
The metal has already slipped from its March 2018 highs to around $US60,000 a tonne and Macquarie Group Base Metals Strategist, Vivienne Lloyd, expects further reductions.
The main reason for this, Lloyd says, is that cobalt supply is outstripping the impressive growth in demand.
In late 2017, Glencore PLC, the world's largest cobalt miner, announced it would increase cobalt production at its Katanga Mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo to 34,000 tonnes a year by the 2019 financial year.
“In 2018, the world's entire cobalt market will be around 120,000 tonnes, so this adds a lot of supply to it," Lloyd says. “Other companies are also ramping up production."
Quality to matter more
Ethical concerns about the source of cobalt and how it is being mined are also impacting the market.
“The Democratic Republic of Congo accounts for more than half of the world's cobalt supply and there are genuine human rights concerns around child mining, as well as unsafe and unhealthy practices," Lloyd explains.
Lithium ion battery manufacturers, including Apple, intend to reduce their reliance on cobalt but have yet to find an alternative that can match its battery stabilisation qualities.
“Companies that have been looking to reduce or eliminate the use of cobalt in their production will still significantly increase its use over the next five years," Lloyd says.
While demand for cobalt won't slow, Lloyd expects manufacturers will place increasing importance on its origins, which could impact the use of cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
If this occurs, and electric vehicles continue their strong growth, we could eventually see a golden age for cobalt.