RHJ/iStock via Getty Images
RHJ/iStock via Getty Images
Welcome to the March 2022 cobalt miner news.
The past month saw an emerging trend with western countries (USA, Canada, and Australia) that are increasingly developing strategies and support for their own EV and critical metal miners and a secure supply chain. We also saw cobalt supply problems emerge with the China Molybdenum-DRC Government dispute (mine halt) and the problems with Russian supply such as Norilsk Nickel due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
As of March 24, the cobalt spot price was significantly higher at US$37.02/lb, from US$31.97/lb last month. The LME cobalt price is US$81,360/tonne. LME Cobalt inventory is 248 tonnes, lower than 259 last month. More details on cobalt pricing (in particular the more relevant cobalt sulphate), can be found here at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence or Fast Markets MB.
Cobalt spot prices - 5-year chart - USD 37.02
UBS cobalt supply and demand forecast - Growing deficits from 2023
Source: Fortune Minerals company presentation
UBS's EV metals demand forecast (from Nov. 2020)
UBS forecasts Year battery metals go into deficit
UBS Source: UBS courtesy Carlos Vincens LinkedIn
Source: UBS courtesy Carlos Vincens LinkedIn
2021 IEA forecast growth in demand for selected minerals from clean energy technologies by scenario, 2040 relative to 2020 - Increases Of Lithium 13x to 42x, Graphite 8x to 25x, Cobalt 6x to 21x, Nickel 7x to 19x, Manganese 3x to 8x, Rare Earths 3x to 7x, And Copper 2x to 3x
Source: International Energy Agency 2021 report
BMI 2022 forecast for cobalt - Deficits building starting from 2024
Source: Reuters and courtesy Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
On February 22 the White House announced:
FACT SHEET: Securing a made in America supply chain for critical minerals. Biden-Harris Administration, companies announce major investments to expand domestic critical minerals supply chain, breaking dependence on China and boosting sustainable practices... These minerals-such as rare earth elements, lithium, and cobalt... are also key inputs in clean energy technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels. As the world transitions to a clean energy economy, global demand for these critical minerals is set to skyrocket by 400-600 percent over the next several decades, and, for minerals such as lithium and graphite used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, demand will increase by even more-as much as 4,000 percent... to announce major investments in domestic production of key critical minerals and materials... President Biden will announce that the Department of Defense's Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program has awarded MP Materials $35 million to separate and process heavy rare earth elements at its facility in Mountain Pass... She will also discuss $3 billion in BIL funding to invest in refining battery materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite, and battery recycling facilities... has established an Interagency Working Group (IWG) that will lead an Administration effort on legislative and regulatory reform of mine permitting and oversight.
London-listed Russian stocks are collapsing, with trading now suspended... "The FTSE Russell index business has removed Russian listings from its indices, the London Stock Exchange has suspended trading in (27) Russian listed securities," London Stock Exchange CEO David Schwimmer told CNBC on Thursday.
On March 11 BNN Bloomberg reported: "Senators urge Biden to invoke Defense Act for battery materials."
CERAWEEK As EV demand rises, Biden officials warm to new mines... U.S. regulators are warming to approving new domestic sources of electric vehicle battery metals... Granholm told conference attendees she would work to streamline permitting for new sources of EV minerals, eliciting loud applause.
How a handful of metals could determine the future of the electric car industry... Companies are betting hundreds of billions of dollars on electric cars and trucks. To make them, they'll need a lot of batteries. And that means they need a lot of minerals, like lithium, cobalt and nickel, to be dug up out of the earth. These minerals aren't particularly rare, but production needs to scale up massively - at an unprecedented pace - to meet the auto industry's ambitions... Beijing controls about three-quarters of the market for the minerals that are essential for batteries... Demand for some mined products could scale up tenfold within a handful of years...
On March 14 The South China Morning Post reported:
CEO of Chinese mining giant back in DRC as cobalt supplies face biggest test yet. China Moly has been suspended from running the massive Tenke-Funrugume copper and cobalt mine, and its contracts face renegotiation. Sun Ruiwen met the Congelese prime minister and senior lawmakers in Kinshasa during his second trip in three months.
Electric-car makers should rethink raw material supply chains -RBC... "Either way, the lesson for autos is to re-think value chains, especially as the industry moves to battery electric vehicles," Spak wrote, noting the recent jump in nickel prices could translate to a $1,000-$2,000 increase in the cost of a battery pack for an electric-car maker. A variety of input prices, including for lithium, nickel, cobalt and copper, could move "a lot" in the next few years due to mismatches in demand and supply, he added.
Glencore [HK:805] [LSE:GLEN] (OTCPK:GLCNF)
On March 16 Glencore announced: "2021 Annual Report of Glencore plc."
Metals Acquisition Corp to acquire CSA Mine from Glencore plc. Glencore plc (Glencore) and Metals Acquisition Corp [MAC] have entered into a binding agreement for the sale and purchase of Glencore's CSA copper mine in New South Wales, Australia. Glencore will receive US$1.05 billion in cash, US$50 million equity stake in MAC and a 1.5% net smelter return life of mine royalty upon completion of the transaction. MAC will assume ownership and full operational control of the mine and will enter into an offtake agreement with Glencore for 100% of the copper concentrate produced at CSA Mine.
China Molybdenum [HKSE:3993] [SHE:603993] (OTC:CMCLF)/CMOC Group Limited (planned English name change)
Congo court appoints temporary administrator to run China Moly's Tenke mine amid a dispute between the shareholders over reserves of copper and cobalt.
On March 9 China Molybdenum reported:
The Prime Minister of the DRC meets with CMOC CEO, showing full support to CMOC's projects in the country... The Prime Minister stressed that the DRC government is committed to building a sound and stable business environment for companies. He was also very clear about his instructions on recent mining royalty payment discussions that under leadership of relevant government authorities and in line with international practice, world-recognized third-party will be engaged by the two parties to perform evaluations to ensure a fair and just resolution, protection of investors' interests, and win-win cooperation.
On March 18 China Molybdenum announced: "CMOC releases 2021 annual results." Highlights include:
On March 20 China Molybdenum announced: "Proposed change of English name of the company fromm "China Molybdenum Co.,Ltd." to "CMOC Group Limited" .
China's Huayou Cobalt reduces output amid resurgence of Covid-19. Chinese battery materials producer Huayou Cobalt has temporarily reduced output on some of its cobalt smelting and recycling lines at its Quzhou subsidiary in Zhejiang province due to the resurgence of Covid-19 across China, the company said on Thursday March 17.
Volkswagen unveils Asian ventures to secure e-battery materials supply. Volkswagen will form joint ventures with Huayou Cobalt and Tsingshan Group to secure nickel and cobalt supplies for electric vehicles in China, the world's No. 1 car market, and to slash costs at a time of surging raw material prices. The move is part of a 30 billion euro ($33 billion) push by the world's second-largest carmaker to build a network of battery cell factories and secure more direct access to vital raw materials that are needed to supply them.
Jinchuan Group International Resources [HK:2362]
On March 21 Jinchuan Group International Resources announced:
Positive profit alert... the Group is expected to record a profit attributable to the shareholders of the Company in the region of approximately US$115 million to US$125 million for the year ended 31 December 2021 as compared to the profit attributable to shareholders of the Company of approximately US$29.9 million for the year ended 31 December 2020...
Chemaf (subsidiary of Shalina Resources)
No news for the month.
No news for the month.
Investors can read more about GEM Co in my Trend Investing article: "A Look At GEM Co Ltd - The World's Largest Battery Recycling Company" when GEM Co was trading at CNY 5.08.
Eurasian Resources Group ("ERG") - private
ERG own the Metalkol facility in the DRC where ERG processes cobalt and copper tailings with a capacity of up to 24,000 tonnes of cobalt pa.
No news for the month.
Umicore SA [Brussels:UMI] (OTCPK:UMICY)
On March 15 Umicore SA announced:
Powering ahead with green electricity. As part of Umicore's goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, the Group signed three long-term power purchase agreements [PPAs] using renewable wind energy --- one PPA to power Europe's first cathode materials plant in Poland and two PPAs to power its sites in Belgium, which is home to two of Umicore's largest sites in the world.
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (TYO:5713) (OTCPK:SMMYY)
No significant news for the month.
MMC Norilsk Nickel [LSX:MNOD] [GR:NNIC] (OTCPK:NILSY)
On March 5 MMC Norilsk Nickel announced: "Nornickel to carry on with projects in Siberia."
On March 12 Mining.com announced:
Norilsk cleared to pay debt in foreign currency, Potanin says. Norilsk was due to make an interest payment of $6.4 million on a $500 million note maturing in 2025. The company had a separate $500 million note due April 8 that was repaid earlier this week, Potanin said. The bond was called on March 9, Bloomberg data shows...
OZ Minerals [ASX:OZL] (OTCPK:OZMLF)
On February 21 OZ Minerals announced: "Strong financial performance and organic growth delivery." Highlights include:
On March 18 OZ Minerals announced:
Janus, Qube and OZ Minerals: Partnering for a Zero Emissions Future - Vision Electric... by applying our shared ingenuity to tackle the challenge of emissions footprint reduction in the heavy transport and resources industries.
Sherritt International [TSX:S] (OTCPK:SHERF)
No significant new for the month.
Nickel 28 [TSXV:NKL] [GR:3JC]
No news for the month.
Investors can view the company presentations here.
Jervois Global Limited [ASX:JRV] [TSXV: JRV] (OTC: JRVMF) [FRA: IHS] (formerly Jervois Mining)
On March 7 Jervois Global Limited announced: "Jervois joins FTSE All-World and ASX 300 indices."
On March 11 Jervois Global Limited announced: "2021 annual report."
Electra Battery Materials [TSXV:ELBM] (OTCQX:ELBMF) - formerly First Cobalt
On February 23 Electra Battery Materials announced: "Electra, Glencore and Talon partnering with Government of Ontario on Battery Materials Park Study."
On March 1 Electra Battery Materials announced:
Government of Canada to fund Electra, Glencore and Talon Metals Study. Electra Battery Materials Corporation is pleased to announce a financial commitment of C$250,000 from the Government of Canada in support of a recently announced battery materials park study. The Battery Materials Park Study was initially announced on February 23rd 2022 as a partnership with the Government of Ontario, Glencore plc and Talon Metals. Project contributions from all parties total C$950,000 and will be completed in phases during the second and third quarter of 2022. The project will now be expanded to encompass additional ESG studies as well as further engineering and cost studies associated with the construction of a nickel sulfate plant and a battery precursor cathode active materials plant adjacent to Electra's cobalt refinery and recycling plant. The culmination of this work would result in the creation of North America's first integrated, localized and environmentally sustainable battery materials park.
On March 7 Electra Battery Materials announced: "Electra announces closure plan approval." Highlights include:
On March 14 Electra Battery Materials announced: "Electra extends cobalt and copper mineralization at Idaho Project." Highlights include:
December 2022 - Target to have their North American cobalt refinery operational with ore feed from Glencore.
Investors can view the company presentations here and a good Crux Investor CEO interview here.
Sunrise Energy Metals Limited [ASX:SRL](OTCQX:SREMF)(formerly Clean TeQ)
Sunrise Energy Metals has 132kt contained cobalt at their Sunrise project.
On February 28 Sunrise Energy Metals Limited announced: "2021 half-year financial report 31 December 2021."
On March 4 Sunrise Energy Metals Limited announced: "S&P Dow Jones Indices announces March 2022 quarterly rebalance of the S&P/ASX Indices." SRL was removed.
2022 - Possible off-take agreements and project funding/partnering.
Investors can also read the latest company presentation here.
Fortune Minerals [TSX:FT] (OTCQB:FTMDF)
No news for the month.
Investors can read the latest company presentation here, or view a good video - "An introduction to the NICO Project."
Australian Mines [ASX:AUZ] (OTCQB:AMSLF)
On March 9 Australian Mines announced:
Proof-of-concept study on alternative nickel-cobalt laterite ore processing. Australian Mines Limited is pleased to advise it has completed a Proof-of-Concept Study ("Study")1 investigating an innovative, low-capex, scalable, and environmentally benign (non-HPAL)2 processing technology targeting the extraction of nickel, cobalt, and scandium from the lateritic ores at its Bell Creek-Minnamoolka [QLD] and Flemington [NSW] Projects.
Investors can read the latest company presentation here.
Ardea Resources [ASX:ARL] (OTC:OTCPK:ARRRF)
In total, Ardea has 5.9mt of contained nickel and 380kt of contained cobalt at their KNP Project near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. Ardea is also exploring for gold and nickel sulphide on their >5,100 km2 of 100% controlled tenements in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.
On February 22 Ardea Resources announced: "Successful A$21.5 million capital raising." Highlights include:
On March 4 Ardea Resources announced: "Interim financial report half-year ended 31 December 2021."
On March 11 Ardea Resources announced: "Goongarrie Hub water extraction licences granted."
On March 14 Ardea Resources announced: "High-grade nickel-cobalt confirmed at Kalpini with scandium and rare earth elements." Highlights include:
Additionally, significant Rare Earth Element [REE] and Rare Metal [RM] gradeswere indicated within the historic nickel-cobalt laterite mineralisation, including:
On March 18 Ardea Resources announced: "Kalgoorlie Nickel Project Awarded Major Project Status."
On March 21 Ardea Resources announced: "Kalgoorlie Nickel Project recognition on all tiers of Australian Government."
Cobalt Blue Holdings [ASX:COB] (OTCPK:CBBHF)
In total Cobalt Blue currently has 81.1kt of contained cobalt at their 100% owned Broken Hill Cobalt Project [BHCP] (formerly Thackaringa Cobalt Project) in NSW, Australia. LG International is an equity strategic partner.
On March 2 Cobalt Blue reported:
Grant of Australian Major Project Status. Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited (ASX: COB) has been granted Major Project Status for the Broken Hill Cobalt Project (BHCP) by the Australian Government.
On March 11 Cobalt Blue Holdings announced: "COB-half year accounts-December 2021." Highlights include:
Investors can watch a recent CEO interview here.
Havilah Resources [ASX:HAV] [GR:FWL]
Havilah 100% own the Mutooroo copper-cobalt project about 60km west of Broken Hill in South Australia. They also have the nearby Kalkaroo copper-cobalt project, as well as a potentially large iron ore project at Grants. Havilah's 100% owned Kalkaroo copper-gold-cobalt deposit contains JORC Mineral Resources of 1.1 million tonnes of copper, 3.1 million ounces of gold and 23,200 tonnes of cobalt.
On February 22 Havilah Resources announced: "Quarterly activities and cashflow report - Period ended 31 January 2022." Highlights include:
Investors can learn more by reading my article "Havilah Resources Has Huge Potential and/or my update article. You can also view my CEO interview here, and the company presentation here.
Aeon Metals [ASX:AML](OTC:AEOMF)
Aeon Metals 100% own their Walford Creek copper-cobalt project in Queensland Australia.
On February 23 Aeon Metals announced: "Pre-Feasibility Study update." Highlights include:
On March 16 Aeon Metals announced: "Walford Creek resource upgrade." Highlights include:
On March 21 Aeon Metals announced: "Walford Creek resource upgrade - Additional information."
Investors can view the latest company presentation here.
GME Resources [ASX:GME][GR:GM9] (OTC:GMRSF)
GME Resources own the NiWest Nickel-Cobalt Project located adjacent to Glencore's Murrin Murrin Nickel operations in the North Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. The NiWest Project which has an estimated 830,000 tonnes of nickel metal and 52,000 tonnes of cobalt.
On March 15 GME Resources announced:
Interim report 31 December 2021. The NiWest Nickel Cobalt Project hosts one of the highest-grade undeveloped nickel laterite resources in Australia estimated to contain 85 million tonnes averaging 1.03% Nickel and 0.06% Cobalt. Over 75% of the resource falls within the Measured and Indicated categories. The Project, is at an advanced stage, having completed high level Mineral Resource estimates and developed a technically viable process flow sheet. An extensive Pre-Feasibility Study [PFS] has been completed demonstrating that a robust economic outcome is achievable at similar commodity prices we are witnessing today. The PFS highlights the NiWest Nickel Cobalt Project as a significant 20 plus year operation that is strongly leveraged to long term nickel price growth.
Investors can read a company investor presentation here.
Global Energy Metals Corp. [TSXV:GEMC][GR:5GE1] (OTC:GBLEF)
On February 22 Global Energy Metals Corp. announced:
Global Energy Metals announces private placement financing; enters into strategic relationship with Goldspot Discoveries Corp. to apply AI Technology at Lovelock and Treasure Box Projects in Nevada...
On March 16 Global Energy Metals Corp. announced: "Global Energy Metals announces partner funded drilling campaign to commence at the Millennium Cobalt-Copper-Gold Project." Highlights include:
Investors can read my article on GEMC here.
I am happy to hear any news updates from commentators. Tickers of cobalt juniors I will be following include:
21st Century Metals (CSE: BULL) (OTCQB: DCNNF), African Battery Metals [AIM:ABM], Alloy Resources [ASX:AYR], Artemis Resources Ltd [ASX:ARV] (OTCPK:ARTTF), Aston Minerals [ASX:ASO] (formerly European Cobalt), Auroch [ASX:AOU] [GR:T59], Azure Minerals [ASX:AZS] (OTC:AZRMF), Bankers Cobalt [TSXV:BANC] [GR:BC2] (NDENF), Battery Mineral Resources [TSXV:BMR], Blackstone Minerals [ASX:BSX], BHP (NYSE:BHP), Brixton Metals Corporation [TSXV:BBB](OTC:BXTMD), Canada Nickel [TSXV:CNC], Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc [TSXV:CCW] (OTCQB:CCWOF), Canadian International Minerals [TSXV:CIN], Carnaby Resources [ASX:CNB], Castillo Copper [ASX:CCZ], Celsius Resources [ASX:CLA] [GR:FX8], Centaurus Metals [ASX:CTM], CBLT Inc. [TSXV:KBLT] (OTCPK:CBBLF), Cobalt Power Group [TSX:CPO], Cohiba Minerals [ASX:CHK], Corazon Mining Ltd [ASX:CZN], Cruz Battery Metals Corp. [CSE:CRUZ][FSE: A2DMG8] (OTCPK:BKTPF), Cudeco Ltd [ASX:CDU] [GR:AMR], DeepGreen Metals Inc. (TMC)/ Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (SOAC), Dragon Energy [ASX:DLE], Edison Battery Metals [TSXV:EDDY], Electric Royalties [TSXV:ELEC], First Quantum Minerals (OTCPK:FQVLF), Fuse Cobalt Inc [CVE:FUSE] (WCTXF), Galileo [ASX:GAL], GME Resources [ASX:GME] (OTC:GMRSF), Group Ten Metals Inc. [TSXV:PGE] (OTCQB:PGEZF), Hinterland Metals Inc. (OTC:HNLMF), Hylea Metals [ASX:HCO], Independence Group [ASX:IGO] (OTC:IIDDY), King's Bay Res (OTC:KBGCF) [TSXV:KBG], Latin American Resources, M2 Cobalt Corp. (TSXV: MC) (OTCQB: MCCBF), MetalsTech [ASE:MTC], Meteoric Resources [ASX:MEI], Mincor Resources (OTCPK:MCRZF) [ASX:MCR], Namibia Critical Metals [TSXV:NMI] (OTCPK:NMREF), Pacific Rim Cobalt [BOLT:CSE], PolyMet Mining [TSXV:POM] (NYSEMKT:PLM), OreCorp [ASX:ORR], Power Americas Minerals [TSXV:PAM], Panoramic Resources (OTCPK:PANRF) [ASX:PAN], Pioneer Resources Limited [ASX:PIO], Platina Resources (OTCPK:PTNUF) [ASX:PGM], Quantum Cobalt Corp [CSE:QBOT] GR:23BA] (OTCPK:BRVVF), Regal Resources (OTC:RGARF), Resolution Minerals Ltd [ASX:RML], Sienna Resources [TSXV:SIE], (OTCPK:SNNAF), and Victory Mines [ASX:VIC].
March saw cobalt prices significantly higher.
Highlights for the month were:
As usual all comments are welcome.
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