NEW YORK, April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The mining industry is very diverse, and in recent years technological advancements have raised the demand for minerals like lithium and cobalt. These minerals are now widely used for rechargeable batteries and are a crucial component in the growing electric vehicle market. A research report by AskCI Consulting Co. has published data showing that in 2015, the reserves of cobalt in the world were about 7.2 million tonnes. Congo had the largest reserves or constituting about half of all the global reserve. The output of cobalt was about 124,000 tonnes and it is predicted that by 2020, the consumption of cobalt in lithium batteries for electric vehicles will reach 70,000 tonnes. Present cobalt resources can only last for decades. Fortune Minerals Limited (OTC: FTMDF) (TSX-V: FT), eCobalt Solutions Inc. (OTC: ECSIF), Katanga Mining Limited (OTC: KATFF), Lundin Mining Corporation (OTC: LUNMF), Leading Edge Materials Corp. (OTC: LEMIF)
Lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) battery types are expected to constitute a large share of the overall lithium ion battery market. A report by Markets and Markets indicates that the energy density of any LCO battery is very high, and the cost of manufacturing these batteries is fairly reasonable. The market for lithium nickel manganese cobalt battery type is expected to grow at the highest rate between 2016 and 2022. As for the overall lithium ion battery market, the research projects that the market will be valued at USD 68.97 Billion, by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 16.6% between 2016 and 2022.
Fortune Minerals Limited (OTCQX: FTMDF) (TSX-V: FT) announced yesterday, "Hatch Ltd. ('Hatch') and Micon International Limited ('Micon') have been engaged to update the Feasibility Study for the NICO Cobalt-Gold-Bismuth-Copper Project. Hatch has also been retained to conduct additional engineering work. The vertically integrated NICO Project consists of a planned mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories and refinery near Saskatoon where concentrates from the mine will be processed to battery grade cobalt sulphate, gold, bismuth metal and oxide, and copper. NICO has already been assessed in a positive Feasibility Study in 2014 but requires an update to reflect current costs, commodity prices and currency exchange rates to support efforts to arrange project financing in progress. The Feasibility Study update is expected to be completed in early summer. Fortune is working with PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance Inc. ('PwC') to arrange the project financing.
NICO is a primary cobalt deposit with more than 50% of projected revenues at current commodity prices coming from cobalt, now quoted at more than US$26 per pound for metal cathodes. The cobalt market has transitioned into a supply deficit and demand is accelerating primarily due to consumption in lithium-ion batteries used in portable electronic devices, electric vehicles ('EV's') and stationary storage cells used to store energy from the electrical grid. The NICO deposit co-products include more than 1.1 million ounces of gold as well as 12% of global bismuth reserves."
Robin Goad, President and CEO of Fortune Minerals Limited, commented, "We are pleased to be working again with both Hatch and Micon as we advance towards arranging project financing for our NICO development and prepare for construction. NICO is positioned to become a unique North American vertically integrated producer of cobalt chemicals for the lithium-ion battery industry with a highly liquid gold co-product."
eCobalt Solutions Inc. (OTCQB: ECSIF) commits to providing ethically produced and 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. Recently, the company announced that it has closed its previously announced bought deal financing of 15 million Units and the related over-allotment option of 2.25 million Units at a purchase price of C$1.00 per Unit, for aggregate gross proceeds in the amount of C$17.25 million. The company intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering for advancing the development of the Company's Idaho Cobalt project and for general working capital purposes.
Katanga Mining Limited (OTC: KATFF) operates a large-scale copper-cobalt project with substantial high-grade mineral reserves and integrated metallurgical operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company's single-site operation, which comprises brownfield assets and new facilities under construction, will have one of the lowest unit production costs in the world, net of by-product credits. Katanga holds a 75% stake in two joint ventures with Gécamines, a state-owned mining company in the DRC.
Lundin Mining Corporation (OTC: LUNMF) is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company with operations in Chile, the United States of America, Portugal, and Sweden. Lundin Mining acquired, through a newly formed joint venture entity with Freeport, a large scale cobalt chemical refinery located in Kokkola, Finland and the related sales and marketing business. The acquisition provided direct end-market access for the cobalt hydroxide production from the Tenke Fungurume mine among other advantages. Lundin Mining holds an effective 24% ownership interest in the joint venture, with Freeport holding an effective 56% ownership interest and acting as operator of the joint venture and Gécamines holding a 20% interest.
On February 27, 2017, Leading Edge Materials Corp . (OTCQB: LEMIF) announced the staking of the Company's second cobalt ('Co') - copper ('Cu') project, Kontio, located in north eastern Finland approximately 50 km northwest of the town of Kuusamo. The project is secured by Leading Edge Material's 30,800 hectare Kontio-Sarvivaara reservation which is valid until September 2018. The Kontio project lies within the Kuusamo Schist Belt, host to numerous significant deposits in Eastern Finland. The Kuusamo Schist Belt is comprised of various meta-sedimentary sequences with regular mafic and felsic intrusive and regional scale albite alteration.
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