Cobalt itself is widely disseminated as a mineral resource and its relatively low concentration usually means it is produced as a by-product of another metal. Almost all land-based cobalt deposits are found in combination with nickel, copper or silver.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 50 kilometres northeast of Lubumbashi on prospective ground proximal to several major copper-cobalt (“Cu-Co”) operations and projects in the Central African Copperbelt, First Cobalt Corp. has signed an exclusive letter of intent to form a strategic alliance and earn a controlling interest over seven prospective Cu-Co exploration properties.
In Canada, 37 Kilometers from Cobalt, Ontario, the Company hold interests in key mineral rights in a region that boasts historic production in excess of 19,000,000 ounces of silver and of 3,300,000 pounds of cobalt from 1908 to 1965. The location is readily accessible with excellent infrastructure nearby, along with an extraordinarily detailed and documented exploration and production history.
First Cobalt Corp. is moving quickly to leverage its potential opportunity against an economic background that estimates global consumption for refined cobalt is set to reach 100 kt in 2017. While demand growth for most metals has stalled in recent years, cobalt demand continues to grow strongly – spurred on by the increasing popularity of Li-ion batteries. As demand from rechargeable batteries used in consumer electronics continues to be robust, the prospect of a booming Electric Vehicle market is set to generates further upside demand potential with some estimates indicating that demand for cobalt will grow at an average rate of approximately 5% per annum for the next ten years.
The cobalt market can be split into two major segments:
- Cobalt for metallurgical uses. Key sectors include Superalloys (aircraft rotating parts, thermal sprays, prosthetics etc.), high-speed (HS) steel, carbide and diamond tools and magnets.
- Cobalt for non-metallurgical uses. Key sectors include Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), Li-ion batteries for other applications (laptops, PCs, smartphones etc.), polyester and tyres.
As it typically takes 7-10 years to adopt new battery technologies, and as all current high capacity battery storage systems are incorporating ever larger quantities of cobalt, the Company doesn’t anticipate a fundamental shift in battery technology in the next decade, which provides an ample horizon for First Cobalt Corp to capitalize on this extraordinary opportunity.