Samsung C&T Corporation, a parent company of Samsung Group, has reportedly been in talks with Somika SPRL in order to obtain a supply contract for cobalt. That's allegedly according to an unnamed source at the company who declined to be named due to the private nature of the talks. So at least part of the report should be taken with a grain of salt, although the fact that the companies have been in communication is something that was confirmed by Somika Chairman, Chetan Chug. As such, it goes without saying that no further official details have been provided as of this writing because no agreement has yet been reached.
As to why Samsung might be seeking the material, cobalt is used in a wide number of products ranging from anemia medication to jet engines and pottery glaze. In this case, however, it's far more likely that Samsung plans to use the element in lithium-ion batteries – which also use a substantial amount of it depending on the size of the battery. Samsung may want a new contract for cobalt for use in its plethora of smartphones since it typically renegotiates contracts on cobalt every couple of years. The company could also be seeking more of the stuff for use in larger batteries to energize its self-driving car platform or other projects. Whatever the case turns out to be, if the company is seeking to secure a large supply of cobalt, it likely has something to do with sharply increasing costs over the past couple of years. With the ever-growing demand for better and faster smartphones, as well as the incoming wave of autonomous vehicles, that cost is almost certainly going to continue rising. That's a possibility that is only made more poignant by the fact that elements such as cobalt are finite in supply.
Unfortunately, it may be impossible to ever learn about whether or not the mobile giant and Congolese mining company are discussing that particular topic. Moreover, there aren't necessarily going to be any financial details or other information released about the deal, if one is reached. Neither company is likely to make an official announcement about it, though a steep jump in Samsung's production of cobalt-dependent products may give some indication.