- Demand for cobalt in vehicle battery materials expected to grow more than 40 percent in 2018
- Prices for cobalt metal hit their highest levels in 10 years in the first half of 2018, reaching over $90,000 per ton on the London Metal Exchange
- First Cobalt acquired 100 percent ownership of promising Idaho Iron Creek property, brought in additional drilling rigs
- Results expected soon from preliminary metallurgical work and maiden resource estimate from broad zones of cobalt-copper mineralization at Iron Creek Project
A tightening market and projected shortages of cobalt – a key battery metal used in everything from smartphones to electric vehicles, electronics and defense systems – is generating concern around the world, industry analysts report. Cobalt prices have tripled over the past two years, posing a threat to how quickly the electric vehicle market can grow in the near future, as noted in an article published by Bloomberg (http://nnw.fm/0UaC1). Additionally, concerns over the methods being used by the politically unstable Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 60 percent of the world’s cobalt is produced, remain a factor for many of the world’s largest consumers of cobalt.
Vertically integrated pure-play cobalt company First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQX: FTSSF) (ASX: FCC) has consciously and strategically placed its efforts into its North American assets such as the Iron Creek Project in Idaho and the Greater Cobalt Project in the Canadian Cobalt Camp, which holds more than 50 past producing mines. The company also owns the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials. First Cobalt recently announced that it has acquired 100 percent ownership of the Iron Creek property, where a maiden mineral resource estimate is anticipated any day.
First Cobalt president and CEO Trent Mell notes that a $9 million investment into Iron Creek has allowed the company to accelerate its drilling program there. In fact, First Cobalt is fully funded to complete its work programs in the U.S. and in Canada beyond the end of this year and into 2019, a company news release states (http://nnw.fm/J8KOc). Iron Creek’s promising potential includes results from recent drilling that indicate two broad zones of cobalt-copper mineralization that extend well beyond the limits of the historic resource.
With demand across most major end-use applications set to increase and the battery sector alone expected to enjoy double-digit growth over the coming decade, the market is gearing itself up for a sustained period of unprecedented consumption growth, according to metals and minerals research firm Roskill (http://nnw.fm/6cRrI). Some companies, such as Apple, BMW and Volkswagen, are reportedly negotiating to secure cobalt supplies directly from producers in an effort to safeguard their own supplies for future use, as detailed by CNBC (http://nnw.fm/tC8mH).
First Cobalt is actively working to create a North American solution to many of the problems facing cobalt consumers now and in the future. The company’s strategy of exploring, developing and refining material in North America for sale back into the American battery market is well underway. As such, First Cobalt is strategically positioned to be at the forefront of the cobalt-driven battery movement in the coming years.
For more information, visit the company’s website at http://nnw.fm/FTSSF
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