NEW YORK, December 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —
According to a recent report from Global Market Insights, the global lithium ion battery market was valued over USD 24 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 60 billion by 2024. The report indicated that growing adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as government policies toward sustainable technologies drive the market growth. U.S., China, UK and Germany have witnessed significant growth in electric vehicle demand in the past five years. The market of lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) consists of a carbon graphite carbon anode and a lithium cobalt oxide cathode, projected to experience a 6% growth during the forecast years due to increasing demand for portable electronic devices, such as mobile phones, smart watches and laptops. Quantum Cobalt Corp. (CSE: QBOT), Lundin Mining Corp. (OTC: LUNMF), eCobalt Solutions, Inc. (OTC: ECSIF), Fortune Metals Limited (OTC: FTMDF), Katanga Mining Ltd. (OTC: KATFF)
According to S&P Global Platts, BMO Capital Markets said the price of cobalt is likely to increase significantly in the next two years due to rising demand for lithium ion batteries. BMO predicted that the annual average cobalt price could increase to $40.50/lb in 2019 from its current level of $30/lb. The bank said: “Cobalt has a history of spikes higher following a period of underperformance, which is mainly related to the structure of the supply side. Without a primary mine supply side to speak of, cobalt has less of an elastic supply buffer than peers.”
Quantum Cobalt Corp. (CSE: QBOT) is currently listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange under the Ticker ‘QBOT’. On December 18th the company announced, “Results from the 100% owned Kahuna and Rabbit Lake Cobalt Properties (collectively, the “Properties” or the “Property”). The Kahuna and Rabbit Lake Properties lie in the famous Ontario ‘Cobalt‘ district approximately 37km and 47km south of the town of Cobalt, Ontario respectively.”
The recent exploration program consisted of prospecting, geologic mapping and geochemical sampling. A total of 166 soil samples and 28 grab samples were collected and submitted for assay at Acme Laboratories in Timmins, ON. Eleven of the grab samples reported above 100ppm cobalt. Of the 11 samples, 9 were collected from historic development rock piles at historic workings. Grab samples are selected samples and are not necessarily representative of the mineralization hosted on the property.
Preliminary review of results from the limited soil sampling program identifies two anomalous areas along strike of historic workings with peak values of up to 460ppm cobalt. The southeastern anomaly is approximately 150m long and is open to the southeast and northwest.
A recent exploration program was completed over the property, with 126 soil samples and 29 rock samples collected and submitted for assay at Acme Laboratories in Timmins, ON. Peak results in soil samples included 319.9ppm cobalt and 0.31 g/t gold. The historic occurrence on the shoreline of Rabbit Lake is believed to now occur below water level, but mineralization within structures as well as elevated cobalt in soil samples is observed in the immediate vicinity.”
Interestingly, the soil samples identified another anomalous zone further south along strike from the historic occurrence. Following these results, additional field work and investigation will be conducted in the spring.”
Lundin Mining Corp. (OTC: LUNMF) is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company that holds an indirect 24% equity stake in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery located in Kokkola, Finland. On November 29th, the company provided the following production guidance for the three-year period beginning in 2018, cash costs, capital and exploration expenditure guidance for 2018, as well as ten-year guidance for our Candelaria operation. Paul Conibear, President and CEO commented, “We are significantly expanding investment in our own assets including a number of low-risk, positive return initiatives, further positioning all of our operations for sustained reliability of production and lower operating costs, taking a long-term view.”
eCobalt Solutions, Inc. (OTCQX: ECSIF) is a company committed to providing ethically produced, environmentally sound, battery grade cobalt products, essential for the rapidly growing rechargeable battery and renewable energy sectors, made safely, responsibly, and transparently in the United States. On December 7th, eCobalt Solutions reported that significant progress has been made to date on optimization of the Idaho Cobalt Project (“ICP”) resulting in a new direction to produce a clean (low arsenic content) cobalt concentrate product, an upstream precursor material for battery cathode production, that may result in material reduction of capital and operating cost at the Cobalt Production Facility (“CPF”). Mr. Paul Farquharson, President and C.E.O. of the Company commented: “Consolidation of battery materials manufacturing in China to decrease cost and increase production capacity has reduced the premium in the price of cobalt sulphate over cobalt metal. Due to these changing battery market dynamics, and in response to discussions with numerous potential offtake parties, the Company has determined that delivering a clean cobalt concentrate product is the fastest route to production, generation of cash-flows and reduction of price and technical risk to the project.”
Fortune Metals Limited (OTCQX: FTMDF) is a mining company focused on developing the vertically integrated NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper project in the Northwest Territories and a related refinery the Company plans to construct in Saskatchewan. Earlier in August, the company provided an update of activities for its 100% owned NICO Cobalt-Gold-Bismuth-Copper Project in Canada. NICO is a primary cobalt project with approximately 60% of projected revenues from cobalt at current commodity prices. The NICO Mineral Reserves also contain more than 1.1 million ounces of gold and 12% of world bismuth reserves.
Katanga Mining Ltd. (OTC: KATFF) operates a major mine complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo producing refined copper and cobalt. On December 11th, the company announced that it has successfully completed the hot commissioning of the core of the first train of its new whole ore leach (“WOL”) processing facility at its subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company’s (“KCC”) copper and cobalt mine in Lualaba Province, DRC. Johnny Blizzard, Chief Executive Officer of Katanga, commented: “We are very pleased to have met our anticipated budget and timetable for commissioning the first train of our new plant and are optimistic that the tangible improvements from using a whole ore leach processing circuit will be seen in the near future. We look forward to ramping up to full production capacity of the first train. The construction of the second train of the WOL plant is also on schedule and budget and hot commissioning is still expected to commence in H2 2018.”
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