- Tech-industry demand for cobalt predicted to drive doubling of need for battery element during next decade
- First Cobalt exploring quick-to-market potential of Idaho project while assessing fire-up capacity of continent’s only permitted cobalt refinery
- Company also has 50 past-producing mines in Canada’s famed Cobalt Camp
Cobalt’s rising star in the metal commodities market and the potential fast-track-to-production resources of First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQX: FTSSF) (ASX: FCC) appear to be a rock solid marriage of preparation and opportunity within the exploration industry.
Cobalt’s clout derives from its current position as a limited supply element vital to the low-heat, high-stability lithium-ion batteries that power globally omnipresent computer-reliant technology, such as smartphones, laptops, medical tools, jet engines and, now, the burgeoning electric vehicle market. It is mainly used to make magnetic, wear-resistant and high-strength alloys (http://nnw.fm/lf7O0).
International mining consultancy Roskill estimates that the demand for cobalt in 2017 was 118,000 metric tons (http://nnw.fm/6ofNz) and will double to 310,000 metric tons by 2027, with 240,000 metric tons (77 percent) of that amount being devoted to computerized electronics alone (http://nnw.fm/U4EuJ). Although prices have softened somewhat since experiencing a 10-year high of over $90,000 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange earlier this year, market watchers continue to predict that cobalt trade will remain robust during the foreseeable future in order to ensure the stability of the electronics industry (http://nnw.fm/1BDNc).
First Cobalt Corp., with headquarters in Canada, is a vertically integrated pure-play cobalt company. First Cobalt has three significant North American assets: the Iron Creek Project in Idaho, which has a historic mineral resource estimate (non-compliant with modern NI 43-101 reporting standards) of 1.3 million tons grading 0.59 percent cobalt; the Canadian Cobalt Camp, with more than 50 past producing mines; and the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials.
The company became listed earlier this year on the OTCQX Canada Index (.OTCQXCAN), which is designed to show investors “the diversity of high-quality Canadian companies that meet the high financial, disclosure and corporate governance standards required to trade on the OTCQX market” (http://nnw.fm/a7Gvl). Eligible securities must be traded on OTCQX, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), TSX Venture Exchange (TSX.V) or Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) and meet a minimum liquidity standard, according to the index.
Effectively, First Cobalt is the only company on the continent potentially ready to produce cobalt battery materials as supply for the increasing demand.
Although the Idaho site’s historic estimate of 1.3 million tons grading 0.59 percent cobalt and 0.3 percent copper is not up to modern NI 43-101 reporting standards, the company is working to meet the modernization needs for its reporting on the $9 million project by October (http://nnw.fm/O8yVL).
The company also continues to explore the longer-term potential of its nearly 25,000 acres in Canada’s famed Cobalt Camp of Ontario, and could soon be ready to resume the production of battery-grade material at its shuttered cobalt extraction refinery in the region. International supply concerns continue to trouble the market, including the conflict metal concerns about mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where most of the world’s cobalt resources originate and, most recently, U.S. trade restrictions with Cuba that have affected the Canadian supplier of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla (http://nnw.fm/xUPy2), as well as the theft of an enormous cache of warehoused cobalt in the Netherlands last month (http://nnw.fm/RMUr6).
Amid the international supply concerns, First Cobalt’s North American resources are strengthening its position as lucky in its love for the domestic market.
For more information, visit the company’s website at http://nnw.fm/FTSSF
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