Archive | Cobalt Town

Cobalt Firm Says Chinese Car Companies Keen to Secure Supplies (Bloomberg News – April 16, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Cobalt 27 Capital Corp., owner of the world’s largest private stockpile of cobalt, said it is in talks for potential tie-ups with major Chinese companies seeking to secure supplies of the key metal in batteries powering electric vehicles.

Car and battery makers from China have approached Cobalt 27 to discuss long-term partnerships and supply contracts, Anthony Milewski, chief executive officer of the Canadian firm, said in an interview in Beijing on Monday. Milewski said he has at least 17 such meetings lined up in major Chinese cities over the next three days.

“There’s a lot of interest and it is natural because it is where all this will happen,” Milewski said, declining to identify the companies. “China is going to be the world leader of electric vehicles.” Continue Reading →

Orefinders gets into the cobalt game – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 26, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Power Ore is the name of the spinoff company being created by Orefinders Resources to work its cobalt properties in northeastern Ontario.

By way of a court-approved plan of arrangement, Power Ore picks up Orefinders’ silver-cobalt assets, the former Mann silver-cobalt mines, and MacMurchy nickel property in the Gowganda district.

The arrangement is subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange. Power Ore is targeting to list on the exchange soon after receiving approval from Orefinders’ shareholders at a special meeting on May 4. Continue Reading →

RNC mulls selling Aussie mine to focus on massive cobalt-nickel project in Quebec – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – March 22, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

Canada’s RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX) said Thursday it might sell all or part of its Beta Hunt gold and nickel mine in Western Australia to focus instead on its Dumont cobalt and nickel project in Quebec, the world’s largest undeveloped reserve of both metals.

The Toronto-based miner, which acquire Beta Hunt in 2016, said while it has grew the scale of the operation ever since, such asset is now considered to be non-core to RNC, particularly since Dumont’s potential value is significantly greater than the Australian mine’s current worth.

The company, however, did say it would consider other strategic alternatives for Beta Hunt, adding that no decision about the mine future has been made at the time. Continue Reading →

EV adoption rate reaching critical mass as search for ethical cobalt heats up – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – March 20, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Cobalt company Cobalt 27 is seeing an ideal storm brewing for its key commodity as the adoption rate of electric vehicles (EVs) accelerates faster than even optimistic forecasts had speculated.

“Cobalt 27 is a proxy for the adoption of the EV,” executive chairperson Anthony Milewski told Mining Weekly Online in an interview. “What our most recent raise tells one is that the thematic is picking up pace.”

He pointed to the EV adoption rate hitting 1.8% at the end of 2017. “Currently, Wall Street has projections for 2025 of an EV penetration rate of 15%. Continue Reading →

Battery makers descend on Australia, Canada cobalt developers – by Melanie Burton and Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.S. – March 19, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE/VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Nervous Asian battery makers are turning to early-stage cobalt projects in Australia and Canada to lock in supplies of the critical battery ingredient ahead of expected shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up.

Mine developers say interest from Japanese and Korean firms is particularly strong as they compete with rivals from China, which has built deep supply chain ties with the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s top producer.

The central African country accounts for nearly two-thirds of global cobalt output and production is set to rise despite concerns over the use of child miners and rising royalties. “We are starting to see the first signs of an arms race to secure long term cobalt supplies,” said Joe Kaderavek, chief executive of Australia’s Cobalt Blue (COB.AX). Continue Reading →

First Cobalt Buys Idaho Explorer in Race to Supply Battery Boom – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – March 14, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

First Cobalt Corp. is seeking to speed up its timetable to begin producing cobalt, riding the wave of interest in the metal used in electric-vehicle batteries and smartphones.

The Vancouver-based exploration company agreed to buy explorer US Cobalt Inc., which has properties in Idaho, in an all-stock deal with an implied equity value of about C$149.9 million ($116 million). Trading in the two companies’ shares was suspended.

“We’re trying to fast-track our way into North American mining and refining,” First Cobalt Chief Executive Officer Trent Mell said in an interview. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Apple and the vertical transformation of mining – by Kurt Breede (Northern Miner – February 26, 2018)

The Northern Miner

Kurt Breede, P.Eng. is the Director of Industry Partnerships at the Lassonde Institute of Mining, University of Toronto, one of the leading mining research institutes in Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Apple Inc. was in direct talks with an undisclosed mining company to secure long-term cobalt supplies to support the mounting demands of the company’s power hungry device lineup.

Cobalt, a hard, silver-grey metal once used for jewellery and paints, is the primary component for today’s lithium-ion batteries. Valued at over US$37 per lb. — an increase of 100% from just the year before — the metal is a coveted chalice for power hungry manufacturers seeking footholds in the ever narrowing space.

The potential deal would mark one of several negotiated by vertically integrated manufacturers (VIMs) in recent months to secure supplies of metals required to satisfy expanding production targets. BMW, Volkswagon and Samsung are just some of the industry giants rallying to align themselves with raw material producers. Continue Reading →

Scarce, expensive cobalt essential for electric cars – by Terry Cain (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The recent market turmoil has knocked back the value of most asset classes. But one group has held up surprisingly well. After rising dramatically in 2017, certain scarce metals, such as cobalt and lithium, continue to be hot commodities. In fact, the price of cobalt has set a new record high. So what is driving this rally, can it continue, and how can investors benefit?

The key factor driving these metals is surging demand for lithium-ion batteries. These power sources are the most popular kind of rechargeable batteries used in home electronics, as well as electric vehicles. Production and sales of these batteries have taken off as global sales for these products surge.

As the name indicates, one of the key ingredients in lithium-ion batteries is lithium. The price of the silvery-white metal, sometimes called “white gold,” has spiked by nearly 500 per cent over the past five years, though it has pulled back in the first part of this year. Australia and South America are the main lithium producers. Continue Reading →

Pandering to electric-vehicle owners contains blind spots – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – February 28, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Electric-vehicle sales more than doubled in Ontario in 2017 as rebates worth up to $14,000 per car propelled the province past Quebec to become Canada’s EV leader. Many electric-car fans celebrated this as proof that Ontario’s latest incentives to encourage EV sales are working.

Working for them, maybe. But what about for taxpayers and the planet? We already know that government rebates on EV purchases are a horrendously expensive way to reduce carbon. Encouraging consumers to move to smaller gasoline-powered cars by increasing sales taxes on fossil fuels would do so much more to cut emissions.

What’s more, it is now becoming clear that mining the massive amounts of cobalt and lithium needed to manufacture the bigger batteries required to increase EV range and reliability risks creating a slew of unintended social, economic and environmental consequences. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle Is Reviewing Cobalt Assets After Receiving Interest – by Danielle Bochove and Susanne Barton (Bloomberg News – February 26, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. is dusting off cobalt assets in Ontario for potential sale as a global search for the rechargeable-battery ingredient expands amid surging demand.

The gold producer is doing an analysis of its Canadian cobalt holdings after receiving five or six inquiries, Chief Executive Officer Sean Boyd said Monday in a Bloomberg TV interview at the annual BMO mining conference in Florida.

The move comes at a time when manufacturers are seeking to secure cobalt on behalf of battery makers as demand heats up from the electric-vehicle and mobile-phone industries. Continue Reading →

Betting on DRC’s mineral boom – by Gregory Mthembu-Salter (The Africa Report – January 30, 2018)

http://www.theafricareport.com/

Kinshasa – Mineral commodity prices are ticking up once more, and the cash-strapped Congolese government is increasingly betting on rising mining revenues to come to its fiscal rescue. Because of the budget deficit and a shortage of foreign exchange, the central bank has been putting pressure on mining companies to repatriate 40% of their export earnings pursuant to a 2007 government decision.

That, and a proposed reform to the mining code, have caused tensions between the Kinshasa government and the country’s mining companies. On the production and price fronts, things are looking up now. Copper prices currently hover around $7,000/tn, sharply up from $4,500 just a year ago. And, improving matters further, the country’s recorded copper exports were 15% higher during the first half of 2017 than during the same period of 2016.

The cobalt price is rising too, buoyed by recent announcements by governments around the world, including the UK and China, of their plans to switch from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric cars. The London Metal Exchange cobalt price was $27/lb in October 2017, up from $13/lb a year earlier. Continue Reading →

Laurentian University researchers put Cobalt camp under the microscope – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 25, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

First Cobalt Mining conducting in-depth study of historic silver district

First Cobalt Mining, the biggest exploration player in the Cobalt camp, is bringing a Laurentian University researcher into the fold to better understand the geology of its properties in northeastern Ontario.

The Toronto company announced it’s embarking on a dedicated research partnership program with the university’s Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) by sponsoring a post-doctoral position to carry out the first detailed study of major structural features in the 110-year-old history of the camp.

“We’re looking at it from a new set of eyes as researchers,” said Ross Sherlock, who oversees MERC’s Metal Earth project. “It’s an unusual geological assemblage.” MERC is the geoscience arm attached to Laurentian’s Harquail School of Earth Sciences, under the umbrella of the Goodman School of Mines. Continue Reading →

Second life for historic Cobalt silver camp – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – January 18, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Historic mining area near Ontario/Quebec border garnering attention for cobalt resources

The land around the town of Cobalt, despite the name, was once one of the richest silver finds in the nation. Decades after that boom ceased, another one is on the horizon, this time for the town’s namesake.

As demand for electric vehicles grows across the world, one company is taking a second look at the cobalt resources that were once thrown away.

First Cobalt Corp. gave a Jan. 16 presentation in Sudbury on their latest findings and plans to drill on several properties they purchased near Cobalt, many of them historical silver mine sites, to determine the scope and quality of the cobalt resources. Continue Reading →

Column: Why cobalt will struggle to free itself from the DRC – by Andy Home (Reuters – January 15, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The cobalt market will record a supply surplus both this year and next, according to heavyweight commodities research house CRU. This might seem a little surprising, given all the bullish hype surrounding a metal that more than doubled in price last year.

CRU itself has drastically revised its original assessment of a sustained supply shortfall due to strong demand growth from the battery sector. What has changed its mind?

In short, it’s the return of the Katanga mine after two years of suspended activities. Once fully operational, Katanga will be the “largest cobalt-producing mining project in the world”. (CRU Insight, Jan. 4 2018) Continue Reading →

Cobalt: A Metal Poised to Peak (Startfor Worldview – January 8, 2018)

https://worldview.stratfor.com/

At Stratfor, we use geopolitics to understand the constraints and advantages that geography confers on a country and the political, technological and economic decisions it compels.

As the demand for electric vehicles increases over the coming decades, so, too, will the demand — and the price — for the raw materials required to produce them. Increased demand for elements such as lithium and cobalt will lead to potential supply bottlenecks over the next several years.

And while the media has touted the potential of lithium — the eponymous component of lithium-ion batteries — to be the raw material that powers the gradual transition away from fossil fuel-reliant transportation, it has understated the significance of one element in the equation: cobalt. Lithium-ion batteries require lithium, yes, but they also require something else. Under the constraints of present technology, that something is, more often than not, cobalt. Continue Reading →