PALM BEACH, Florida, January 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
A handful of Canadian major and junior miners are ramping up operations to mine cobalt and lithium in 2018, betting on demand for a reliable source of the metal that is in high demand as a key component of electric cars all while battery makers seeking new sources of cobalt and lithium. One of the key trends seen in 2017 has been increasing EV sales forecasts, which have made the end game much clearer. Looking ahead to 2018, investors are wondering whether the electric car revolution will continue to have an impact on lithium, and more importantly, what to expect from the market going forward. In terms of prices, Andrew Barber, investor relations manager at Orocobre (TSX: ORL), said current lithium carbonate (LCE) pricing is running at around $12,000 to $14,000, while lithium hydroxide prices are $2,000 to $3,000 higher. He forecasts that this trend will "remain firm" going forward. With one eye on accelerating demand for electric vehicles, BMW AG said it is talking to suppliers of cobalt and other battery materials amid fears that stocks will run short and push already inflated prices higher. Today's active miners with current developments in the market include: LiCo Energy Metals Inc. (OTC: WCTXF) (TSX-V: LIC), Katanga Mining Limited (OTC: KATFF) (TSX: KAT), NRG Metals Inc. (OTC: NRGMF) (TSX-V: NGZ), Glencore plc (OTC: GLNCY) (LSE: GLEN), First Cobalt Corp. (OTC: FTSSF) (TSX-V: FCC).
LiCo Energy Metals Inc. (OTCQB: WCTXF) (TSX-V: LIC.V) is pleased to report assay results for drill holes TE17-02 and TE17-03 completed on the Teledyne Cobalt Property, located 6 km northeast of Cobalt, Ontario.
A summary of the most significant results of the recent drill core assays are:
- TE17-02 0.95% Co over 1.9 m from 143.0 to 144.9 m, incl. 2.58% Co over 0.60 m from 144.30 to 144.90 m
- TE17-02 0.59% Co over 3.9 m from 156.0 to 159.9 m, incl. 2.22% Co over 0.60 m from 156.6 to 157.2 m
On the Teledyne Cobalt Property, the Company completed a total of 11 diamond drill holes totaling 2,200 m in the fall of 2017. The drilling has confirmed the cobalt mineralization on the Property which is consistent with historical grades and widths reported historically.
As reported on the Company's November 30th, 2017 news release, LiCo has recently completed its 2017 diamond drilling program on its Teledyne and Glencore Bucke Properties completing a total of 32 diamond drill holes, drilling 4,100 m of core. This exploration work satisfies both its flow-through financing obligations and the contractual obligations outlined in the recently acquired Glencore Bucke Property from Glencore plc of Baar Switzerland (LSE: GLEN). The overall drilling program has confirmed and extended the cobalt mineralization on each property and these results are consistent with historical grades and widths in the overall Cobalt Camp. As reported previously, visual cobalt camp style mineralization has been noted in every drill hole that the Company has logged. The results for diamond drill hole TE17-02 to TE17-03 is summarized in Table 1 that can be seen at: http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/wctxf.html
Tim Fernback, President & CEO of LiCo comments, "Having consistently found cobalt in commercial grades of 0.50% and higher is very exciting for our team. This is especially true when we also see extended zones with greater than 2.0% cobalt in the same drill core. We are very much looking forward to getting the remaining drill core results back from the assay lab to confirm that the same cobalt mineralization is found throughout our Glencore Bucke and Teledyne cobalt properties." Read this and more news for LiCo Energy at: http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/wctxf.html
LiCo Energy Metals Inc. has implemented a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program for both the Glencore Bucke and Teledyne Property drill programs. Diamond drill core was logged, then sawed in half, with one half placed in a labelled bag, and the remaining half placed back into the core box and stored in a secured compound. Either a standard or a blank was inserted every 20th sample. All samples were shipped to Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, Ontario. Each sample is coarsely crushed and a 250 g aliquot is pulverized for analysis. A 0.25g sample is digested with a near total digestion (4 acids) and then analyzed using an ICP. QC for the digestion is 14% for each batch, 5 method reagent blanks, 10 in-house controls, 10 samples duplicates, and 8 certified reference materials. An additional 13% QC is performed as part of the instrumental analysis to ensure quality in the areas of instrumental drift. If over limits for Cu, Pb, Zn, and Co are encountered, a sodium peroxide fusion, acid dissolution followed by ICP?OES is completed. For Ag over limits, a four acid digestion is completed followed by ICP?OES.
In other mining industry news and developments:
Katanga Mining Limited (OTC: KATFF) (TSX: KAT.TO) recently completed the hot commissioning of the core of the first train of its new whole-ore-leach (WOL) processing facility at its subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company's (KCC) copper and cobalt mine in Lualaba province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Luilu site, where the WOL and electrowinning plants of KCC are located, successfully produced its first copper cathode on Dec. 11, 2017. Copper and cobalt production at KCC has been suspended since September, 2015, pending the construction of the WOL project. A progressive ramp-up and commissioning of the remainder of the first train are expected to follow over the ensuing three months, with the objective of achieving full capacity on the first train by the end of Q1 2018.
NRG Metals Inc. (OTCQB: NRGMF) (TSX-V: NGZ.V) recently announced it has completed the first drill hole at the Salar Escondido lithium project, Catamarca Province, Argentina. The hole was drilled to a depth of 307 metres due to hole conditions. The hole bottomed in brine and the brine target remains open at depth. At a depth of 210 metres the hole was converted from core drilling to tricone rotary drilling due to challenging drilling conditions. Now that the hole has been terminated, the interval from 307 m to 210 m will be sampled using either a double packer or bailer system, depending upon the conditions in the hole. Consistent with the company's geophysical data and geological model, the target zone of sediments saturated with brine that could contain lithium was intersected at 140 m, and has continued to the completed depth of 307 m with the brine-zone target open below that depth. Recent sampling in the interval from 183 m to 198 m returned an average of 229 milligrams per litre lithium as reported in the company's press release dated Dec. 7, 2017. On-site quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) were supervised by William Feyerabend, a certified professional geologist and a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101.
Glencore Plc (OTC: GLNCY) (LSE: GLEN.L) recently agreed to sell an underground coal mine in eastern Australia to GFG Alliance, an industrial conglomerate that last year picked up steel and iron-ore mining assets in the country. Glencore said the deal for its Tahmoor mine remains subject to state government approval and is expected to be completed this quarter. No financial details were disclosed by the company, which is one of Australia's largest coal producers with 17 operating mines across the east.
First Cobalt Corp. (OTCQB: FTSSF) (TSX-V: FCC.V) recently announced it has completed the financing announced on December 8, 2017 with the Underwriters fully exercising their option to sell an additional 4,550,000 Units. The Company issued on a bought deal basis (i) 4,700,000 units of the Company ("Flow-Through Units") at a price of $1.51 per Flow-Through Unit (the "FT Offering") and (ii) 20,950,000 units (the "Units") of the Company at a price of $1.10 per Unit for aggregate proceeds of $30,142,000 (the "Offering"). The syndicate of Underwriters for the Offering was led by Canaccord Genuity Corp., together with TD Securities Inc., GMP Securities L.P., Eight Capital and Red Cloud Klondike Strike Inc. Each Unit consists of one common share (a "Common Share") of First Cobalt and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole common share purchase warrant a "Warrant") of First Cobalt. Each Flow-Through Unit consists of one common share of the Company qualifying as a 'flow-through share' (a "Flow-Through Share") of First Cobalt and one-half of one Warrant. Each full Warrant will entitle the holder thereof to purchase one Common Share of the Company at a price of $1.50 per Common Share, for a period of 24 months following the date of issue of Warrants.
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