Archive | Cobalt Town

Cobalt’s Chemistry Experiment – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – September 28, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

All batteries are not created equal. The 53 kilowatt-hour pack on a 2008 Tesla Inc. Roadster contains an estimated 38 kilograms of cobalt, a key element that some analysts fear may be running out. The same-sized battery on a 2017 Tesla would have about one-eighth of that, or 4.8 kilograms.

That’s the best reason to be wary of predictions that cobalt is heading toward permanently higher prices north of $100,000 a metric ton. The complex chemistry on which rechargeable batteries depends offers myriad opportunities to economize on any material that gets too costly.

Cobalt is a crucial ingredient for manufacturing most lithium-ion cathodes — the “positive” ends of the cell, equivalent to the nipple atop a conventional AAA battery. Demand for such cathodes is set to soar as the world’s vehicle fleet shifts from petroleum to electrical drive-trains, and as utilities build farms of rechargeable batteries to stabilize renewables-intensive power grids. Continue Reading →

Electric vehicles trigger search for lithium and cobalt – by Chris Tomlinson (Houston Chronicle – September 27, 2017)

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/

Automakers this summer touted plans to offer more electric vehicles, with Mercedes-Benz announcing it will spend $1 billion to add a battery factory to its plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Ford is investing $4.5 billion in electric vehicle production, Volkswagen has promised 30 electrified models, and Volvo plans to go all electric or hybrid by 2019. Even Porsche will offer a battery-powered sports sedan called Mission E in 2020.

Automakers expect to sell 20 million all-electric vehicles in 2030, according to conservative estimates, prompting questions about where the raw materials will come from to make all of those batteries. Continue Reading →

Everyone wants cobalt, but few want to get tangled up in the world’s largest producing nation – by Lynsey Chutel (Quartz.com – September 27, 2017)

https://qz.com/

For too long, the Democratic Republic of Congo has known no competition in the cobalt market, to its detriment. The metal, which used to be just a byproduct of nickel and copper mining, is fast becoming one of the core ingredients of our technology-driven lifestyles. The instability in the DR Congo, however, is driving some investors to look to much smaller but more reliable cobalt sources.

Earlier this year, Canada began to notice the makings of a cobalt rush, starting in the town of Cobalt, Ontario—named for the mineral that was discovered there. More than a century ago, the region was the site of an old-fashioned silver rush, but its resources were soon eclipsed by Africa’s offering.

Prospectors are again returning to the town of Cobalt: By May this year, more than a dozen mining companies had staked their claim in the Canadian town, the Northern Prospectors Association told Canada’s CBC. Continue Reading →

Out of Africa for First Cobalt: Cobalt hunter ditches Congo J-V for northeastern Ontario – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 18, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Only months after announcing it was buying into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), First Cobalt is pulling out to concentrate on its exploration work in northeastern Ontario.

The Toronto-headquartered cobalt hunter announced Sept. 18 that it will not complete its “strategic alliance” on seven cobalt exploration properties in the DRC. Instead, the company said it will focus on its flagship property in the historic Cobalt mining camp.

It’s Greater Cobalt Project, includes an option for the former producing Keeley-Frontier mine, a high-grade mine that produced over 3.3 million pounds of cobalt and 19.1 million ounces of silver from 301,000 tonnes of ore, as well as a joint venture on a fully permitted cobalt refinery in the town of Cobalt. Continue Reading →

Eager for red-hot cobalt gains, investors think small – by Nicole Mordant (Reuters Canada – August 24, 2017)

https://ca.reuters.com/

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Institutional investors hoping to profit from cobalt, this year’s high-flying metal, are buying into companies that are smaller than their usual fare to gain exposure to an industry supplying the burgeoning electric car market.

Prices for cobalt CBD0, a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, have spiked 83 percent this year on forecasts that demand will double in the next decade as consumers switch to less-polluting cars. Nearly all cobalt, which prolongs battery life, is mined as a by-product of copper and nickel, making it difficult for investors to get direct exposure.

Much like the recent boom in lithium, another battery ingredient, cobalt’s surge has resulted from heady forecasts for ownership of electric vehicles. UBS in May said it expected them to account for 3.1 percent of global car sales in 2021 and 13.7 percent in 2025, up from 1 percent this year. Continue Reading →

Hunt for Next Electric-Car Commodity Quickens as Prices Soar – by Laura Millan Lombrana and Susanne Barton (Bloomberg News – August 23, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Niche metal cobalt is leaving bigger names like copper and lithium in its dust, triggering a hunt for new deposits from Idaho to Chile.

As one of the key components in the new breed of rechargeable batteries and with supply dominated by the Democratic Republic of Congo, prices have surged at four times the pace of major metals in the past year.

That’s caught the attention of governments, explorers and money managers, with annual demand set to increase 34 percent until 2026 as electric cars gain a bigger share of the global auto fleet, according to CRU Group.

Authorities in Chile, the top copper-producing nation, are embarking on a fact-finding mission with a view to restart cobalt production after a more than seven-decade hiatus. First Cobalt Corp. is merging with two other firms to create what it calls the world’s largest explorer of the mineral. Continue Reading →

Glencore turns bigger copper, zinc price bull: Nickel not so much – by Frik Els (Mining.com – August 10, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

Miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) raised its revenue and profit outlook for the year on Thursday with the Swiss company citing the fast-growing electric vehicle market as a key driver.

“Most automotive players are now accelerating investment in/adoption of electric vehicle technologies, reflecting, in part, increasingly aggressive Government mandates around emission targets.

Growth in electric vehicle/energy storage systems requires changes in material flows, including the installation, rebuild and replacement of supporting infrastructure. Based on current and emerging technologies, these changes should benefit enabling commodities such as copper, cobalt and nickel,” Glencore said in a statement accompanying its half-year results. Continue Reading →

Boom times ahead in the Cobalt camp: Staking rush, exploration activity puts famed mining camp back on the map – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 31, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

These are boom times in the Cobalt camp, but this is entirely new territory for Gino Chitaroni. “I’ve been in this business more than 30 years, I’ve never seen this before,” said the president of the Northern Prospectors Association.

The worldwide search for green-tech minerals, like cobalt, to feed the exploding electric vehicle and lithium battery market has put the historic silver mining district back in the spotlight for a largely discarded by-product metal.

“Eighteen months ago, if someone breathed the word cobalt, I would have thought they were on crack,” chuckles Chitaroni, a third-generation Cobalt-area miner and president of Polymet Labs in the town of Cobalt. Continue Reading →

Cobalt explorer makes a move in historic camp: First Cobalt kicks off exploration program with promise of richer days ahead – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 28, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Walking into a mining ghost town like Silver Centre is almost akin to experiencing what the first miners of the Cobalt camp’s famed Silver Rush faced at the turn of the last century.

But the focus this time is not on finding high-grade silver veins but exploring for cobalt, previously discarded as a waste material. For exploration crews, it’s like starting from scratch. “I grew up in Northern Ontario and crawled around mine sites all the time,” said Frank Santaguida, vice-president of exploration for First Cobalt Corp. “It’s surprising how quickly the land reclaims itself.”

His Toronto-based company has an option agreement with Canadian Silver Hunter to acquire 100 per cent of the former Keeley-Frontier silver and cobalt mine, a sprawling 2,100-hectare property, 25 kilometres south of the town of Cobalt. Continue Reading →

Hawthorne’s Cobalt letters – by Douglas Baldwin (CIM Magazine – February 2017)

http://magazine.cim.org/en/

Scheming brokers, including a famous author’s son, deceived many speculators during the Cobalt, Ontario silver rush

Two years after the 1903 discovery of rich silver deposits in northern Ontario, a Toronto brokerage firm asserted that “when you take into consideration that Cobalt’s mines have produced more in value than the Klondike is producing per annum, or has ever produced, you will have some idea of the great results that will come out of this camp when fully developed.”

Mining companies licensed to work in Ontario grew from 43 in 1903 to 683 four years later. For three consecutive days, mounted police in New York City cleared Broad Street of would-be investors who were obstructing traffic in their efforts to buy Cobalt shares from the curb brokers.

Stories of millions of dollars changing hands overnight were legion. The Canadian Annual Review recounted the tale of a North Bay resident who made $15,000 by merely picking up silver nuggets lying on the ground. Continue Reading →

Forget Ring of Fire: Cobalt mining camp is ready to roll – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – June 23, 2017)

http://www.nugget.ca/

COBALT – As much attention as the Ring of Fire has garnered, the expected resurgence of the Cobalt Camp is a bigger story. “The Ring of Fire . . . is too much pie in the sky,” Gino Chitaroni says. “There are too many working parts. You don’t need millions of dollars there. You need billions. There is no way in hell it will be developed anytime soon.”

Chitaroni, president and manager of PolyMet Labs in this old mining town, says political problems are delaying the Ring of Fire project in northwestern Ontario even more. It will be at least a decade – probably more – before anything comes out of it, he believes. But the Cobalt Camp, he says, is ready to roll again.

“Even with China involved directly, and they have very, very deep pockets, the infrastructure requirements there means Ring of Fire is many, many years off,” says Chitaroni, who also is president of the Northern Prospectors’ Association. “It’s sad that the government has put all its (mining) eggs in one basket when there are so many other, much better projects.” Continue Reading →

The Town Silver Built may have new lease on life – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – June 23, 2017)

http://www.nugget.ca/

COBALT – Renewed interest in the historic Cobalt Camp mining site is reason for “cautious optimism,” according to this small town’s mayor. But Tina Sartoretto warns against “full-throttle optimism.”

“You can easily be over zealous,” says Sartoretto, who has been mayor since 2010. Over the past few months, prospectors, surveyors, drilling crews and others have descended on the region that stretches from just across the Quebec border to as far west as Espanola. But Cobalt is at the heart of the attention.

“It’s not like the heyday,” Sartoretto admits. “We had the stock exchange, we had banks, hotels, restaurants . . .” The years have been tough on this old town. The population now, according to the 2016 national census, is 1,118 people. The stock market is long gone, as are the banks. Continue Reading →

“This transaction will … [create] one of the largest cobalt exploration companies in the world” – by Staff (Mining Journal – June 22, 2017)

http://www.mining-journal.com/

Australian-based Cobalt One has entered a trading halt pending an announcement on the merger proposal. The two companies signed an option agreement earlier this month whereby First Cobalt was granted an option to acquire 50% of Cobalt One’s cobalt assets in the Cobalt region of Ontario.

Cobalt One’s assets include a cobalt refinery while First Cobalt’s assets include the former producing Keeley-Frontier silver-cobalt mine in Ontario and cobalt exploration ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Under the “friendly merger” proposed by First Cobalt, Cobalt One would hold 60% of the enlarged company, with its chairman Paul Matysek, CEO Jason Bontempo and director Bob Cross to go onto the First Cobalt board. Continue Reading →

Two Ontario cobalt players partner on processing – staff (Northern Ontario Business – June 1, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Refinery joint venture in the works but legal questions remain on plant ownership

Two cobalt exploration companies have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture involving a controversial refinery in northeastern Ontario. First Cobalt announced June 1 that it has entered into an option agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture partnership with Cobalt One, (formerly Equator Resources) the pending new owner of the Yukon refinery in North Cobalt.

In a news release, First Cobalt said their “strategic partnership” with Cobalt One will give them access to the refinery and 40 acres of permitted land to process silver-cobalt arsenide concentrates from its historic Keeley-Frontier mine project.

“The Yukon refinery and the 40 acres of permitted property can help us reduce the permitting timeline in a meaningful fashion for a future development project,” said First Cobalt president-CEO Trent Mell. Continue Reading →

Cobalt junior miner preps for summer drill program – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 18, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A Toronto-based cobalt junior miner is combining old mining data with modern technology to assess if an historic mining property can be put back into operation using bulk mining techniques.

First Cobalt announced it has started fieldwork on its 2,100-hectare Keeley-Frontier Mine property and surrounding exploration claims at Silver Centre, 25 kilometres south of the historic mining town of Cobalt.

The company’s stated objective is to assess the property for its potential as a large-scale, bulk mining operation, “something which has not been considered previously for this historic mining district,” according to a May 18 new release. Continue Reading →