- Cobalt is a critical element in lithium-ion batteries, which power electric vehicles, smartphones and laptops
- First Cobalt assay results indicate doubled strike length of newly identified mineralized zone in Canadian Cobalt Camp
- Exploration of cobalt production to accelerate following acquisition of U.S. Cobalt property in Idaho
- Cobalt market reached $8 billion in 2016, with global sales of electric vehicles rising by 63 percent in 2017
First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQX: FTSSF) is strategically positioning itself as a leading pure-play cobalt exploration and development company as it continues to add historical mineral resource properties to its portfolio. The previously announced acquisition of U.S. Cobalt is poised to expand the company’s assets into Idaho at the Iron Creek Project, which includes a substantial amount of previous exploratory work. This project, located along the most prolific trend of cobalt mineralization in the United States along the Idaho Cobalt Belt, has an historic mineral resource estimate (non-compliant with NI 43-101) of 1.3 million tons grading 0.59 percent cobalt, and shareholders were encouraged to support the proposed acquisition (http://ibn.fm/4qEiv).
Overall, the deal adds U.S. Cobalt’s exploration properties in Idaho and Utah to First Cobalt’s 50 mining properties in Cobalt, Ontario, Canada, which also include the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials. Dr. Frank Santaguida, P.Geo., First Cobalt’s vice president, exploration, spoke to Reuters at a Canadian mining conference in London about the company’s push to increase its holdings and develop its resources.
“A pipeline of projects is what’s necessary to really move forward and to continually assess the best things to develop,” Santaguida said in an article published by Reuters on April 25, 2018 (http://ibn.fm/MycuN). “Cobalt demand is now. Predictions are it will last for about 10 years at least, so it is about getting to that early production.”
The booming demand for cobalt is closely tied to the rapidly developing lithium-ion battery market, which depends on cobalt as a critical element. The fastest growing segment of this battery market is the electric vehicle or EV industry. Legislation enacted in leading European countries and China promises to do away with the standard gas and diesel-powered vehicles and replace them with electric vehicles. By 2025, about 14 percent of all cars sold in the world will run on battery power, with a solid third of the vehicles sold in Europe powered by rechargeable batteries, according to an article in Mining-Technology.com (http://ibn.fm/piaP7).
First Cobalt announced on May 3 that results of recent drilling in the Kerr Area, located within the company’s Canadian Cobalt Camp property, have doubled the strike length of the mineralized zone to over 200 meters, making it a prime target for further exploration, Trent Mell, President and CEO, said in a news release (http://ibn.fm/hrXAW).
“Our 2018 drilling program will continue targeting 15 areas containing past-producing mines,” added Mell. “But the Kerr area is now a high priority for exploration work.”
First Cobalt’s determination to be a leading conflict-free, cobalt company is ingrained in the company culture, unlike many of the mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo that utilize child labor in a politically unstable region. First Cobalt adopted the Responsible Cobalt Initiative in 2017 that calls on companies to trace how their cobalt is extracted, transported, manufactured and sold. The company’s guiding principle is “zero harm” to people, the environment and the communities in which it operates, providing a common link to the green goals enshrined in the electric vehicle revolution.
For more information, visit the company’s website at http://ibn.fm/FTSSF
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