NEW YORK, February 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
According to data compiled by Deutsche Bank Markets Research, it is projected that the global lithium demand will increase from 181kt Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) back in 2015 to 535kt LCE by 2025. The emergence of electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage markets is expected to drive the lithium market due to demands for lithium-ion batteries. Global battery consumption is expected to increase 5x over by 2025, placing high demands on the lithium market and its supply chain, especially cobalt. Wood Mackenzie forecasts the demand for cobalt in electric vehicles to grow fourfold by 2020 and eleven-fold by 2025. Boreal Metals Corp. (TSX-V: BMX), EMX Royalty Corporation (NYSE: EMX), Fortune Minerals Limited (OTC: FTMDF), Cruz Cobalt Corp (OTC: BKTPF), Katanga Mining Limited (OTC: KATFF)
The increasing demand for both lithium and cobalt is attributable to portable consumer electronic devices such as phones or laptops. But as EVs become more accessible and auto manufacturers shift to more environmentally friendly options, it is forecasted for EVs to be the largest contributor to both the lithium and cobalt markets. A report by Business Insider quoted a commodity-focused fund manager, "Future demand for cobalt from the EV (electric vehicle) sector is looking tangible and is more positive than originally expected," "China has some aggressive plans in terms of electric vehicles. It will be a major driver behind cobalt consumption growth."
Boreal Metals Corp. (TSX-V: BMX) is currently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker 'BMX'. Today the company announced breaking news that, "it has completed the acquisition of the Modum Project ("Modum" or the "Project") from EMX Royalty Corporation ("EMX") (NYSE American:EMX; TSXV:EMX). Pursuant to the terms of the purchase and sale, Boreal has issued to EMX 1,324,181 common shares of Boreal, which brings EMX's equity ownership in Boreal to 19.9%. EMX will have the right to participate pro-rata in future financings at its own cost to maintain its 19.9% interest in Boreal. The TSX Venture Exchange has approved the transfer of the Modum exploration licenses from EMX to Boreal, subject to customary final filings.
"The Modum acquisition provides Boreal's investors with exposure to the rapidly expanding battery metals market," stated President and CEO, Karl Antonius. "We continue our aggressive growth strategy with the Modum Project and additional regional acquisitions. Advancing high quality cobalt assets in Scandinavia is attractive in light of the recent advancement of the Northvolt battery factory in northern Sweden."
Modum surrounds southern Norway's historic Skuterud Mine (also known as the Modum Mine), which was Europe's largest and highest-grade producer of cobalt through the nineteenth century1 . Projects like Modum have the opportunity to become a locally sourced supplier of cobalt, with the development of the Scandinavian battery manufacturers who are pressured by the EU to avoid conflict minerals in the supply chain. Northvolt AB http://www.northvolt.com has selected a location near Skelleftea, in northern Sweden to build Europe's biggest battery factory.
As demand for batteries drives a surge in the price of cobalt, the Democratic Republic of Congo (the "DRC") which produces the majority of the world's cobalt is overhauling its mining regulations. The DRC has recently lifted a provision exempting license holders of compliance with the new code for 10 years which means there will immediately be higher royalty on cobalt, as well as copper and gold, as well as a new 50% tax on super profits.
The 13,115 Ha Modum project is located approximately 75 kilometres west of Oslo, Norway. The Modum project is accessible year-round, with robust infrastructure including road, rail, power, and skilled labour in nearby municipalities. The Modum property position surrounds an inlier of exploration licenses held and explored by third parties that partially cover the historic Skuterud Mine. Historic mine workings, prospects and trends of mineralization extend onto the Boreal property.
The cobalt deposits in the Modum District are hosted in steeply dipping, north-south trending Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks known locally as "fahlbands". These rocks are intruded by mafic and ultramafic rocks and contain widespread albitization and sulfide mineralization, similar to other cobalt deposits in the region. The most prominent of the sulfide-bearing fahlbands hosts the mineralization at Skuterud which can be tracked for 12 kilometres along strike with an average thickness of 100 to 200 meters. Mineralization in the fahlbands occurs as disseminated sulfides, sulfide replacement zones, sulfide-rich veins developed within shear zones, and as structurally controlled lenses that occupy fold hinges."
EMX Royalty Corporation (NYSE: EMX) leverages asset ownership and exploration insight into partnerships that advance its mineral properties. Recently, the company announced the execution of a purchase agreement for the Guldgruvan cobalt project in Sweden with Boreal Energy Metals Corporation, a newly created and wholly owned subsidiary of Boreal Metals Corporation. The Project contains multiple historic mining areas with underground workings, test pits and shallow drill holes. Cobalt, copper, and nickel were mined on the property from the 1600's through the 1750's. In addition to these metals, gold, silver, zinc, and lead are also present in zones of mineralization. Guldgruvan, like other EMX and Boreal projects in the region, has seen only limited modern exploration.
Fortune Minerals Limited (OTCQX: FTMDF) is a North American development stage mining company and past producer. Fortune is currently focused on advancing the vertically integrated NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper project, comprised of a proposed mine and mill in the Northwest Territories that will produce a bulk concentrate for shipment to a refinery that the Company plans to construct in Saskatchewan. On November 9, 2017, the company announce a change in scope for the updated Feasibility Study in progress for its 100% owned NICO Cobalt-Gold-Bismuth-Copper Project in Canada ("NICO Project"). Responding to positive feedback from potential strategic partners, Fortune is examining the feasibility of a 20 to 30% increase in the planned NICO production rate over the 4,650 metric tonnes ("t") of ore per day used in the previous 2014 Feasibility Study and produce between 1,700 and 2,000 t of cobalt units per year in a battery grade cobalt sulphate heptahydrate.
Cruz Cobalt Corp (OTC: BKTPF) is focused on acquiring and developing high-grade Cobalt projects in politically stable, environmentally responsible and ethical mining jurisdictions, essential for the rapidly growing rechargeable battery and renewable energy sectors. Recently, the company announced that the company has increased its acreage in the Cobalt District of Ontario. The new acreage is contiguous to the "Lorraine Cobalt Prospect" and now consists of 10,556 contiguous acres bordering First Cobalt Corp. in the direct vicinity of the town of Cobalt, Ontario. On January 22, 2018, Cruz increased its acreage on the "Purcell Cobalt Prospect" from 671 acres to 11,821 acres, consolidating the previous two separate Purcell prospects into one much larger contiguous prospect. Also on January 16, 2018 Cruz increased its landholdings surrounding the War Eagle cobalt prospect in BC. Cruz now has a 100% interest in 15,219 acres on the War Eagle cobalt prospect. Cruz also just recently completed an airborne survey over the War Eagle and Purcell cobalt prospects in BC and uncovered strong magnetic anomalies
Katanga Mining Limited (OTC: KATFF) operates a major mine complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo producing refined copper and cobalt. On January 31, 2018, the company announced its 2017 fourth quarter and year end production results. On September 11, 2015, the Company announced the decision to suspend the processing of copper and cobalt during the construction of its Whole Ore Leach Project ("WOL Project"). The suspension continued through most of 2017, with copper production resuming on December 11, 2017; During Q1 2018, KTC (including KITD), and Luilu are expected to ramp-up the operations to produce copper and cobalt in accordance with the ramp-up plan; Execution of the acid plant, cobalt dryers and cobalt de-bottlenecking projects are expected to continue to ensure the completion of the planned project schedules.
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