NEW YORK, May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
A research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR) projects that the global lithium-ion battery (LIB) market will reach US $77.42 billion by 2024, or expand at a CAGR of 11.6% throughout the forecast period (2016 - 2024). An essential component of the LIB market is the chemical element of Cobalt. TMR indicates that the growth of the global cobalt market can be attributed to the rising demand for lightweight electric cars. Rechargeable batteries are widely used in electric vehicles and are giving rise to the demand for cobalt as it is one of the main compounds added in batteries. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the reports forecasts 75% of lithium-ion battery cathode capacities are expected to contain some volume of cobalt by 2020. US Cobalt Inc. (OTC: SCTFF), eCobalt Solutions Inc. (OTC: ECSIF), Katanga Mining Limited (OTC: KATFF), Nemaska Lithium Inc. (OTC: NMKEF), Lundin Mining Corp. (OTC: LUNMF)
Consultants CRU Group Senior Consultant, Edward Spencer explained, "In terms of overall demand, EVs (electric vehicles) only consumed around 6.5 percent of refined cobalt in 2016. This will increase to 16.9 percent in 2021 helping lift demand to nearly 130,000 tonnes. We expect a deficit in the region of 900 tonnes this year. However, a far larger deficit could open quickly if mine and refinery capacity growth fails to keep pace," Reuters reported. Analysts at Macquarie Research estimated significant cobalt deficits by the end of the decade - 3,205 tonnes in 2019 and 5,340 tonnes in 2020. "Cobalt has limited new supply projects coming through. Meanwhile refined output in key supply countries such as Australia, Russia and Zambia are well down on levels seen a decade ago," Macquarie analyst, Colin Hamilton said according to Reuters.
US Cobalt Inc. (OTCQB: SCTFF) provided yesterday a progress update on its 2017 exploration program at the Iron Creek cobalt project in Lemhi County, Idaho, USA. US Cobalt Inc. is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol USCO.
According to the company's update it, '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.
This drilling campaign is designed to confirm the historic cobalt mineralization and to explore for extensions. As previously announced, previous tonnage and grade estimates indicate that the Property contains 1,279,000 tons grading 0.59% cobalt. The Company's rehabilitation of the underground workings is making good progress at Adit #1. The timbers at the portal have been removed and replaced, and the focus of work is now laying new rail into the tunnels. When complete, the tunnels accessed from Adit #1 will be channel sampled and mapped. The results of this work will subsequently guide drilling from surface and underground.'
Wayne Tisdale, CEO of US Cobalt Inc., 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) earlier in February 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 Financing was completed by a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. Each Unit consists of one common share of the Company and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole common share purchase warrant, a "Warrant"). Each Warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one common share at an exercise price of C$1.50 for a period of twenty-four (24) months following the Closing Date. 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 major mine complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo producing refined copper and cobalt. In February the company announced its ore reserve and mineral resource estimates. The result of the December 31, 2016 ore reserve estimate is a net increase of 26.2 million tonnes of ore reserves since December 31, 2015, the entirety of which increase is attributable to Mashamba East Open Pit. The net increase in ore reserves is based on an updated resource model and completion of a prefeasibility study of the Mashamba East Open Pit. Unless otherwise noted, the Company's ore reserves are estimated using appropriate cut-off grades based on an assumed long term price of $6,750 per tonne of copper and long term price of $30,000 per tonne of cobalt. Ore reserves are estimated using appropriate process recoveries, operating costs and mine plans that are unique to each property and include estimated allowances for dilution and mining recovery.
Nemaska Lithium Inc. (OTCQX: NMKEF) intends to become a lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate supplier to the emerging lithium battery market that is largely driven by electric vehicles, cell phones, tablets and other consumer products. The Corporation is developing in Quebec, one of the most important spodumene lithium hard rock deposit in the world, both in volume and grade. On May 5th, Nemaska Lithium and its wholly-owned subsidiaries 'Nemaska Lithium' and Johnson Matthey Battery Materials Ltd ('JMBM') of Candiac, Québec, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson Matthey Plc announced that JMBM has made an early payment of CAD$2,000,000 (of the final CAD$3,000,000 milestone payment) following receipt of the first shipment of lithium hydroxide. The final CAD$1,000,000 will be paid by JMBM once Nemaska Lithium delivers a second shipment of lithium hydroxide that meets JMBM's final criteria.
Lundin Mining Corp. (OTC: LUNMF) is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company with operations in Chile, the United States of America, Portugal, and Sweden, primarily producing copper, nickel and zinc. In addition, Lundin Mining holds an indirect 24% equity stake in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery located in Kokkola, Finland. On May 11th, Lundin Mining Corporation announced the results of a Feasibility Study completed on the Zinc Expansion Project ("ZEP") at the Neves-Corvo mine in Portugal, as well as provide an update on the project progress. Mr. Paul Conibear, President and CEO of Lundin Mining stated, "The results of the Feasibility Study on the Zinc Expansion Project confirm strong project economics and demonstrate significant incremental value to our Neves-Corvo operations. The project will significantly increase metal production and further increases the mine's competitiveness to the continuing benefit of our shareholders, employees and the local economy. Early project activities are underway to facilitate a rapid start following permit approval, and, in the meantime, we continue with increased exploration efforts to find additional mineable copper and zinc mineralization."
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