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This Commodity Investor Is Hoarding the World’s Cobalt Supply

Backed by a Russian billionaire, Anthony Milewski started stockpiling the metal in 2015.
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Anthony Milewski was among the first investors to realize that if electric-vehicle sales take off the way automakers expect, the world is going to need a lot more cobalt—an essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries.

But the market for cobalt isn’t very big, and there aren’t many easy ways for investors to bet on prices. The metal is a minor byproduct of copper and nickel mining, and only a few places produce meaningful quantities. More than half the world’s supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, an impoverished country in central Africa mired in corruption scandals and political unrest.