NEW YORK, April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The mining industry is very diverse, and in recent years, technological advancements have raised demand for certain minerals, like lithium, which is now widely used in researchable batteries. Another mineral that has attracted attention lately is cobalt. According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the key applications of cobalt are in fields such as life sciences, binder materials, orthopedics, magnets, thermal spray coatings, water resistant alloys, super alloys, and reusable energy storage systems. Among all the application segments, reusable energy systems has the highest demand. Scientific Metals Corp. (OTCQB: SCTFF) (TSX-V: STM), Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX), Polymet Mining Corp. (NYSE: PLM), eCobalt Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: ECSIF), Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CIE)
Lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) battery type are expected to constitute a large share of the overall lithium ion battery. 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, owing to the use of graphite carbon and cobalt. 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.
Scientific Metals Corp. (OTCQB: SCTFF) (TSX-V: STM) on March 27th announced that it has entered into an agreement with Earl Waite and Sons, Mining Contractors, to rehabilitate the adits and underground workings located on the Iron Creek cobalt project (the "Property") in Lemhi County, Idaho, USA. The Company plans to commence work when weather permits.
The Property is located 15 miles southeast of eCobalt's Idaho cobalt project in the most prolific trend of cobalt mineralization in the United States, the Idaho Cobalt Belt. The Property covers 1,800 acres in 90 lode mining claims. The central portion of the Property consists of 7 patented lode mining claims (private ground), covering 137 acres and the known historic estimates.
The Company plans to take full benefit of the advanced stage of exploration at Iron Creek as a result of significant work completed by previous workers, who include Noranda Exploration Inc., Cominco and Hanna Mining. All work will be conducted on the patented lode mining claims, which cover the previously identified historic estimates (see the Company's news release dated September 7, 2016). The Company's focus of working on the patented claims significantly accelerates the permitting process for exploration programs, and gaining access to the cobalt mineralization in existing workings is expected to allow the project to advance during 2017, to a point that would normally take several years.
Scientific Metals Corp. Senior Vice President, Exploration, Brian Kirwin commented, "The rehabilitation of the underground workings at the Iron Creek cobalt property is a significant step in STM's growth. Earl Waite and Sons have extensive mining experience in the Idaho Cobalt Belt and will be able to provide invaluable information with their local knowledge. Our interpretation of the historical data suggests that the underground workings expose significant cobalt mineralization, and should provide a detailed look at the mineralization identified by previous exploration programs. The combination of working on patented claims, and accessing the cobalt mineralization in existing underground workings, significantly accelerates the exploration and development of Iron Creek. Our goal is, by the end of 2017, to advance the project to a point that would, in normal circumstances, take several years."
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) announced earlier in 2016 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its interests in TF Holdings Limited (TF Holdings) to China Molybdenum Co., Ltd. (CMOC), for $2.65 billion in cash and contingent consideration of up to $120 million, consisting of $60 million if the average copper price exceeds $3.50 per pound and $60 million if the average cobalt price exceeds $20 per pound, both during the 24-month period between 2018 and 2019. The company has also agreed to negotiate exclusively with CMOC to enter into definitive agreements to sell its interests in Freeport Cobalt, including the Kokkola Cobalt Refinery in Finland, for $100 million and the Kisanfu Exploration project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for $50 million.
Polymet Mining Corp. (NYSE: PLM) announced this January that the U.S. Forest Service issued its Final Record of Decision authorizing the land exchange for PolyMet's NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project. The NorthMet deposit, located in the Partridge River Intrusion of the Duluth Complex, is a large, near-surface, disseminated deposit, containing copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, gold and silver. "The Forest Service decision further validates both the Final Environmental Impact Statement and the comprehensive process supporting this Final Record of Decision. This is an incredibly important milestone for PolyMet as we consolidate the surface land and mineral ownership, in and around the NorthMet ore body and Erie Plant site," said Jon Cherry, president and CEO.
eCobalt Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: ECSIF) is a company that provides an opportunity to consumers to acquire an ethically sourced, environmentally sound, transparent supply of battery grade cobalt salts, essential for the rapidly growing rechargeable battery and renewable energy sectors, produced safely and responsibly 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 Financing was completed by a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity Corp.
Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CIE) earlier in January announced that it has completed drilling operations on the North Platte #4 appraisal well. The preliminary results are encouraging and indicate that the well encountered approximately 650 feet of net oil pay, which is greater than the approximately 550 feet of net pay found in the North Platte #3 appraisal well. The North Platte #4 initial appraisal results also indicate high quality Inboard Lower Tertiary Wilcox reservoirs on the eastern flank of the North Platte field.
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