About the element

Cobalt is a chemical element with the symbol Co and atomic number 27. Like nickel, cobalt is found in the Earth’s crust only in chemically combined form, save for small deposits found in alloys of natural meteoric iron. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal.


Key facts

  • Symbol: Co
  • Melting point: 1,495 °C
  • Atomic number: 27
  • Atomic mass: 58.933195 u


Most of the targeted by-products elements are Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). CRMs combine raw materials of high importance to the EU economy and of high risk associated with their supply.

Cobalt is part of the EU 2020 Critical Raw Materials List. Its criticality is considered to be high.

Main uses

Super alloys: in critical applications that require high temperature and surface degradation resistance, such as jet engines, gas turbines, space vehicles, rockets, nuclear reactors, and power plants.

Batteries: outside the EU, Cobalt is primarily used in the manufacturing of battery chemicals for portable electronic devices, energy storage systems and electric vehicles.

And also: as an alloying element of high-speed steel for the manufacture of cutting tools, in pigments and inks, in magnets used in electrical equipment in many medical and pharmaceutical applications, as catalyst in the petrochemical and plastic industries, as coating to provide wear and corrosion resistance or surface treatment for semiconductors, etc.

Map of kernel density of weighted Cobalt scores in Europe by DBQ geostatistical method

The map below indicates few areas of potential interest for Cobalt prospection in Europe. It is part of the “Mapping of by-product potential evaluation” (Deliverable 2.1) led by consortium member BRGM.

This map was made based on the current available data and the DBQ geostatistical method, performing a kernel density calculation. The kernel density calculation is a statistical tool which estimates the probability density function of a random variable.