- Cobalt demand set to increase substantially with the growth of electric vehicle use worldwide
- First Cobalt is focused on developing safer, more ethical mining resources in Canada
- Early results in 2018 exploration program produce positive results
Cobalt is a key component in lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EVs) and has experienced a surge in demand on the back of recent developments in the automotive industry. China, with the largest automotive industry in the world, announced last year that it will require one in five new vehicles sold by 2025 to be powered by alternative sources other than fossil fuels. In July 2017, France and Britain followed suit by stating their intention to ban the sale of cars operating on fossil fuels by 2040. First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQB: FTSSF) is well positioned to capitalize on the increasing cobalt demand by developing its mining interests in Ontario, Canada.
Much of the world’s cobalt sourcing currently faces real challenges, since it depends largely on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where child labor is common. First Cobalt offers a huge ethical advantage by developing cobalt sources in Canada, in addition to the potential of greatly helping to revitalize the nearby Canadian community of Cobalt, Ontario. The DRC has also experienced political unrest and instability for many years, and this climate is not conducive to investment. This is another reason that First Cobalt has made the strategic decision to focus its efforts on developing its Canadian mineral rights around the Cobalt Camp in Ontario.
Following the completion of a three-way merger in 2017, First Cobalt now has control over 10,000 hectares of land for prospecting. This area features more than 50 historic mines, including Bellellen, Keeley, Frontier, Drummond and Silver Banner. The company intends to explore these mines, which, based on historic analysis, have the potential to yield high-quality cobalt. First Cobalt also owns the only permitted cobalt extraction refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials.
On January 16, 2018, the company announced a $7 million exploration program for its Cobalt Camp properties in 2018. This will involve 26,500 meters of drilling to test different geological settings at 13 targets within the region. 2017 drill programs revealed that cobalt occurs as different styles of mineralization in the Cobalt Camp, largely due to different geographical settings. First Cobalt’s drilling program will test several prospective areas to determine near-surface mineralization potential.
The company’s early exploration and development efforts have produced positive results. On January 30, 2018, First Cobalt announced the completion of the first phase of its sampling program at its historic mining operations in the Cobalt Camp. More than 400 samples were collected from 14 muckpiles in both Cobalt North and Cobalt South. The company is currently evaluating the potential to generate early cash flow from processing these historic resources.
On February 5, 2018, First Cobalt announced positive drill results from the historic Keeley mine, intersecting over 30 meters of disseminated cobalt mineralization. These included evidence of anomalous cobalt grading 0.043 percent cobalt starting 15 meters from the surface. Results also include 15.7 meters of 0.12 percent cobalt, including 6.2 meters at 0.21 percent cobalt, which reflect similar mineralization in surface grab samples. These results provide evidence of a broad zone of mineralization extending over a strike length of 350 meters outside of the historically mined veins. These broad zones, while lower in grade, are targeted for their potential as large-scale, bulk tonnage future operations.
These early positive results augur well for the outcome of the company’s drilling program. With experienced teams and seasoned management at the helm, First Cobalt is well positioned to capitalize on its exploration program and develop its mineral interest to meet the rising global demand for cobalt.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.FirstCobalt.com
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