NEW YORK, June 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The cobalt and lithium market has grown rapidly as the demand for electric vehicles continues to increase. Cobalt is a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars, smart devices and other consumer electronics. According to a report from CRU Group, CRU estimated that global consumption for refined cobalt is set to reach 100kt in 2017 and demand for cobalt will grow at an average rate of approximately 5 percent for the next ten years. The price of cobalt has surged over 150 percent from its low in January 2016, thanks to the strong demand for lithium-ion batteries. First Cobalt Corp. (OTC: FTSSF), US Cobalt Inc. (OTC: SCTFF), eCobalt Solutions, Inc. (OTC: ECSIF), Lithium X Energy Corp. (OTC: LIXXF), Katanga Mining Ltd. (OTC: KATFF).
According to a report by Reuters, Consultants CRU Group said that electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could reach 4.4 million in 2021 and over 6 million by 2025. Edward Lauer, the head of portfolio optimization at Eurasian Resources Group, stated, "Long-term strong battery demand is very real. Even if demand from commercial and residential battery storage doesn't materialize to the same extent, consumer electronics and electric vehicle industries will only continue to grow."
First Cobalt Corp. (OTCQB: FTSSF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol FCC. Yesterday the company announced that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent ('LOI') to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of CobalTech Mining Inc., an arm's length party, through a negotiated share exchange transaction.
CobalTech has assembled a strong portfolio of prospective cobalt properties, including 11 past producing mines in the town of Cobalt, Ontario, the Werner Lake East Cobalt property near Kenora, Ontario and eight properties in the Province of Quebec. Its flagship asset is the Duncan Kerr Project and includes the past-producing Kerr Lake and Lawson mines which operated between 1905 and 1966 and reportedly produced approximately 32.7 million ounces of silver as well as significant cobalt by-product.
The LOI provides both parties the opportunity to exchange information and maintain confidentiality as each party seeks to determine whether mutually beneficial business opportunities may exist. The LOI does not represent a change of business for either company. The LOI does not contemplate a definitive agreement between the parties. First Cobalt has engaged Canaccord Genuity Corp. as financial advisors and Cassels Brock and Blackwell, LLP as legal advisors on any transactions entered into by the Company.
Trent Mell, First Cobalt President and CEO, commented, "We believe CobalTech's assets in the Cobalt camp are complementary to our own, and see this transaction as an opportunity to provide value to both our shareholders and those of CobalTech. The future potential from 11 additional past producing mines, as well as a milling facility could provide the pathway to early production in this region. This potential transaction is a credit to the quality assets the team at CobalTech have built."
US Cobalt Inc. (OTCQB: SCTFF) on May 30th announced, a progress update on its 2017 exploration program at the Iron Creek cobalt project in Lemhi County, Idaho, USA. The Company has signed a contract for exploration drilling services with Timberline Drilling, a company based in Hayden Lake, Idaho with offices in Elko, Nevada. The contract describes a minimum footage of 30,000 feet to be drilled from surface during 2017 on the patented lode mining claims. Timberline Drilling is experienced in the mountainous terrain of central Idaho, and employs specialized equipment and personnel with experience drilling this type of project. During 2017 the Company plans to conduct geophysical surveys over the known mineralized zones to identify a method that will assist in locating additional drill targets. Wayne Tisdale, CEO, states, "The Company has made excellent progress utilizing the enormously detailed and thorough data provided by our predecessors on the property. We are excited to more clearly delineate this exciting story and move towards not only quantifying current workings but also examining the potential for considerable expansion. The $5.2M we have raised in the last four months, along with the fact that we are working on private ground, will allow us to move forward quickly. Many thanks to our loyal shareholders."
eCobalt Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: ECSIF) is a company committed to providing ethically produced, environmentally sound, battery grade cobalt salts, essential for the rapidly growing rechargeable battery and renewable energy sectors, made safely, responsibly, and transparently in the United States. On May 31st, eCobalt Solutions provided its shareholders with an update on the Company's Feasibility Study for the 100% owned Idaho Cobalt Project. The ICP is the only near term, environmentally permitted, primary cobalt project located in the United States.
Lithium X Energy Corp. (OTCQX: LIXXF) is a lithium exploration and development company that holds two projects in in the prolific 'Lithium Triangle' in mining friendly Salta province, Argentina as well as participating in the Clayton Valley in Nevada through its ownership interest in Pure Energy Metals Limited. On May 31st, Lithium X Energy announced that it has completed the previously-announced transactions with Pure Energy Minerals Limited, consisting of the sale of its interests in Nevada and its subscription for 3.571 million Pure Energy units for at a total subscription cost of C$2 million.
Katanga Mining Ltd. (OTC: KATFF) operates a large-scale copper-cobalt mine complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo through two joint ventures, Kamoto Copper Company and DRC Copper and Cobalt Project. The KCC joint venture produced its first copper cathode in December 2007 following the completion of Phase I of a four-phase refurbishment of the brownfield site. The second joint venture, DCP, was acquired through Katanga's merger with Nikanor in January 2008. KCC and DCP operate on adjacent properties in the Democratic Republic of Congo and are working to create a major single-site copper and cobalt operation. Pursuant to an amended joint venture agreement signed in July 2009, KCC and DCP will be merged.
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