Cobalt Miners News For The Month Of June 2022


Focus on chemical element Cobalt illuminated in periodic table of elements. 3D rendering

HT Ganzo/iStock via Getty Images

Welcome to the June 2022 cobalt miners news.

The past month saw a controversial Goldman Sachs report claiming battery material prices would fall heavily in the next 2 years but may soar again after 2024. The report was refuted by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and most battery metals experts. Meanwhile, EV leader Tesla (Elon Musk) warned that battery supply chain material shortages are a “paramount concern”, which also tends to argue against Goldman’s thesis.

Cobalt price news

As of June 23, the cobalt spot price slightly fell to US$32.54/lb, from US$33.75/lb last month. The LME cobalt price is US$71,485/tonne. LME Cobalt inventory is 206 tonnes, similar as 207 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 32.54

Cobalt spot prices - 5-year chart

Mining.com

Cobalt demand v supply forecasts

UBS cobalt supply and demand forecast – Growing deficits from 2023

UBS cobalt supply and demand forecast

UBS

UBS’s EV metals demand forecast (from Nov. 2020)

UBS's EV metals demand forecast

UBS

UBS forecasts Year battery metals go into deficit

UBS forecasts Year battery metals go into deficit

UBS

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

2021 IEA forecast growth in demand for selected minerals from clean energy technologies by scenario, 2040 relative to 2020

IEA

BMI 2022 forecast for cobalt – Deficits building starting from 2024

BMI 2022 forecast for cobalt - Deficits building starting from 2024

BMI

Cobalt market news

On May 23 Defense News reported:

Congress and Pentagon seek to shore up strategic mineral stockpile dominated by China. The House Armed Services Committee will seek to bolster the National Defense Stockpile of rare earth minerals in the fiscal 2023 defense authorization bill… the Defense Department submitted its own legislative proposal to Congress asking the committee to authorize $253.5 million in that legislation to procure additional minerals for the stockpile. The stockpile includes valuable minerals essential to defense supply chains, such as titanium, tungsten and cobalt… “If we do wind up in a conflict with a country which is where we’re getting our lithium or cobalt, for instance, or other rare earths, we could go to the strategic reserve,” Kelly told Defense News.

On May 25 Mining Weekly reported:

Severe global battery shortage likely post 2025, GlobalData forecasts. Extraction of raw materials will not meet soaring battery demand unless capital markets change course in the face of environmental, social and governance pressures and invest heavily in new mines, says business data and analytics company GlobalData in its ‘Batteries – Thematic Research’ report… An emerging challenge for the next decade will be whether extraction of natural resources and raw materials such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and graphite can meet the soaring demand for batteries.

On May 29 Bloomberg reported:

Goldman says bull market in battery metals is finished for now. Cobalt, lithium, nickel to fall in the next two years: Goldman. A new bull market may start in the second half of this decade… Cobalt will probably drop to an average of $59,500 a ton next year from roughly $80,000 now… Still, prices could soar again after 2024.

On June 2 Reuters reported:

Morocco’s Managem to supply Renault with cobalt for EV batteries… Under this seven-year supply deal, Managem will supply Renault with 5,000 tonnes of cobalt sulfate annually starting from 2025.

On June 6 Fastmarkets reported:

Renault, Managem sign agreement for cobalt sulfate supply. Automotive manufacturer Renault Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Morocco-based cobalt producer Managem for the supply of cobalt sulfate…

On June 7 The Washington Post reported:

How a battery metals squeeze puts EV future at risk… Factory lines churning out power packs to fuel a clean energy future are being built faster than strained supply chains can keep up. A global rush to lock in stocks of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other key ingredients from a handful of nations has sent prices hurtling higher… While factories can be built in about 18 months, mines can typically take seven years or longer to come online.

On June 9 Bloomberg reported:

Miners are increasing operations in copper, lithium & cobalt projects owing to rising demand… Global miners can continue to expect an “exceptional year of earnings” through 2022 as a broad commodity price rally underpins strong financial results for most actors, according to a new report from Fitch Solutions… However, in taking a closer look at individual company capex figures, FitchSolutions says the overall trend remains that companies are investing more in developing their existing assets than in exploring new ones.

On June 21 Seeking Alpha reported:

Tesla supply chain problems are paramount concern – Musk… He explained that production has been hindered by raw material shortages and shutdowns of assembly lines in China.

On June 21 Mining.com reported:

Trudeau’s energy chief unveils low-carbon industrial strategy… In British Columbia, officials are particularly interested in hydrogen, critical minerals and the electrification of heavy industry, Wilkinson said. In Quebec, it’s battery manufacturing and how the critical mineral supply chain can feed into it. In Ontario, electric vehicle production is likely to get attention. And in oil-rich Alberta, carbon capture projects will be key… He pointed out that one tool the government wields is, of course, money, with C$3.8 billion ($2.9 billion) already earmarked for critical minerals in the April budget. On top of that, “we have a billion and a half dollars in the Clean Fuels Fund, we have eight billion dollars in the Net Zero Accelerator, we’re setting up the Clean Growth Fund, we have the Canada Infrastructure Bank,” he said.

Cobalt company news

Glencore [HK:805] [LSE:GLEN] (OTCPK:GLCNF)

No cobalt news for the month.

China Molybdenum [HKSE:3993] [SHE:603993] (OTC:CMCLF)/CMOC Group Limited (English name change)

On June 10, CMOC announced:

Further success made in production of copper and cobalt at TFM… Cobalt production was 1,795 tons in May and completed 103% against plan from January to May. Other technical indicators, including throughput, recovery of acid soluble copper, and recovery of acid soluble cobalt, all registered better-than-planned results.

On June 16, CMOC announced: “The company announces its new English Name CMOC Group Limited.”

Zheijiang Huayou Cobalt [SHA:603799]

On May 25 NS Energy reported: “Huayou Cobalt to invest $300m in Zimbabwe’s Arcadia lithium mine…”

On June 4, Green Car Congress reported: “LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt establishing JV to produce cathode material; 60,000 tons per year from Gumi plant…”

On June 15 Fastmarkets reported: “China’s Huayou Cobalt calls off acquisition of Shengfan Technology.”

On June 20 Fastmarkets reported:

China’s Huayou Cobalt announces new investments in cobalt, lithium. Chinese new energy battery materials producer Huayou Cobalt has announced a new investment plan regarding mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), cobalt hydroxide, lithium ores and salts, the company said on Monday June 20. Huayou Cobalt said that, via wholly owned subsidiary Huatuo International Development, it will work with Singaporean investment company Glaucous International to set up a joint venture called the Huashan Project.

Jinchuan Group International Resources [HK:2362]

No significant news for the month.

Chemaf (subsidiary of Shalina Resources)

No news for the month.

GEM Co Ltd [SHE: 002340]

No significant news for the month. There was one news item discussing nickel-cobalt gradient precursors.

Investors can read more about GEM Co in the 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 June 22 Umicore reported:

Umicore launches “Umicore 2030 – RISE”, its new strategic plan designed to accelerate value creative growth… Execution of the strategy and scaling-up built on 4 RISE (Reliable transformation partner, Innovation & technology leader, Sustainability champion, Excellence in execution) implementation pillars…

On June 22 Umicore reported:

Umicore and Idemitsu to jointly develop high-performance solid-state battery materials… Umicore brings its world-leading expertise in a variety of cathode active materials [CAM] for lithium-ion batteries, while Idemitsu Kosan brings its know-how in solid electrolytes.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (TYO:5713) (OTCPK:SMMYY)

No significant news for the month.

MMC Norilsk Nickel [LSX:MNOD] [GR:NNIC] (OTCPK:NILSY) (ADRs to remain in circulation until April 28, 2023)

On June 6, MMC Norilsk Nickel announced: “Nornickel and Russia’s environmental watchdog signed cooperation agreements.”

On June 7, MMC Norilsk Nickel announced: “Nornickel kicks off consultations with indigenous communities on expected lithium mining project.”

On June 8, MMC Norilsk Nickel announced: “Nornickel reports 2021 sustainable development results…”

On June 16, MMC Norilsk Nickel announced: “Nornickel expands partnership with the Murmansk Region Government.”

OZ Minerals [ASX:OZL] (OTCPK:OZMLF)

No news for the month.

Sherritt International [TSX:S] (OTCPK:SHERF)

On June 1, Sherritt International announced:

Sherritt announces results of modified Dutch auction to purchase secured notes and fixed price tender offer to purchase junior notes. “We are pleased with the strong results of our notes purchase offers, which will reduce the aggregate principal amount of notes outstanding by almost $60 million and our annual interest expense by approximately $5.5 million, while at the same time providing near-term liquidity to our noteholders,” said Leon Binedell, President and CEO of Sherritt.

Nickel 28 [TSXV:NKL] [GR:3JC] (OTCPK:CONXF)

On June 1, Nickel 28 announced: “Nickel 28 announces financial results and large debt repayment.” Highlights include:

Highlights from Ramu and the Company during the year include:

  • “Full year debt repayment of US$38 million, fully repaying the operating debt balance during the year and reducing the remaining construction debt balance to $73.4 million as at January 31st, 2022.
  • Production of 31,594 tonnes of contained nickel and 2,953 tonnes of contained cobalt in mixed hydroxide (MHP) placing Ramu as the number one producer of MHP globally.
  • Total Ramu project revenue of over US$690 million.
  • Average cash costs for the year, net of by-product sales, of US$2.06/lb. of contained nickel.
  • Total net and comprehensive income of $11.2 million ($0.13/share)
  • Strong year end cash balance of US$4.0 million, providing ample liquidity for the Company.”

Investors can view the company presentations here.

Possible mid-term producers (after 2022)

Jervois Global Limited [ASX:JRV] [TSXV: JRV] (OTC: JRVMF) [FRA: IHS] (formerly Jervois Mining)

On June 6, Jervois Global Limited announced: “Jervois increases working capital facility to US$150 million.”

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • Q3 2022 – Idaho Cobalt Operations initial production target.
  • 2023 – First production targeted from the São Miguel Paulista Refinery.

Electra Battery Materials [TSXV:ELBM] (ELBM)

On May 26, Electra Battery Materials announced:

Electra makes steady progress in Q1 2022 towards commissioning its cobalt refinery… Mr. Mell added, “We have sustained this momentum into Q2 with our successful listing on NASDAQ, strengthening of our senior leadership team, and signing an offtake agreement for nickel and cobalt produced at our battery recycling plant starting in 2023. We anticipate building on this progress through 2022 and beyond as construction of the refinery is completed and we begin production.”

On June 22 Electra reported:

Electra evaluates development of second battery materials refinery in North America; Appoints 30 year industry veteran to lead study… In support of the preliminary discussions the Company has undertaken with the Government of Québec, Electra will undertake a study to determine annual production requirements for the industrial park, capital costs for the refinery, flow sheet modifications for alternate sources of feed material, permitting requirements, synergies from integration with other battery materials companies in Bécancour, and potential funding opportunities from the federal and provincial levels of government.

Upcoming catalysts include:

Early 2023 – 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.

No news for the month.

Upcoming catalysts include:

2022 – Possible off-take agreements and project funding/partnering.

Investors can also read the latest company presentation here.

Fortune Minerals [TSX:FT] (OTCQB:FTMDF)

On June 8, Fortune Minerals announced: “Fortune Minerals updates NICO refinery site due-diligence…”

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • 2022 – Drill results, possible off-take or equity partners, project financing.

Investors can read the latest company presentation here, or a company pitch video here.

Australian Mines [ASX:AUZ] (OTCQB:AMSLF)

No significant news for the month.

Investors can read the latest company presentation here.

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • 2022 – PFS on alternative nickel-cobalt laterite ore processing.

Ardea Resources [ASX:ARL] (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 May 26, Ardea Resources announced: “Confirmation of high-grade nickel-cobalt from Goongarrie Hill metallurgical drilling.” Highlights include:

Intercepts at 0.5% nickel and 1% nickel cut-off grades include:

  • “AGHD0003 38m at 0.85% nickel and 0.057% cobalt from 2m including 18m at 1.12% nickel and 0.095% cobalt from 4m.
  • AGHD0005 18m at 1.16% nickel and 0.059% cobalt from 2m including 14m at 1.22% nickel and 0.067% cobalt from 6m.”

On June 14, Ardea Resources announced:

Kalgoorlie Nickel Project feasibility study update… The total KNP Mineral Resource Estimate is now 830Mt at 0.71% Ni and 0.046% Co (5.9Mt nickel, 380kt cobalt). This is a world-significant asset located in an infrastructure-rich location, with independent assessment as the best operating jurisdiction in the world. Ardea continues to receive a high level of interest from groups wanting to secure sustainable and ethical nickel-cobalt offtake. Offtake remains linked to the Strategic Partner process and working with Ardea to complete the DFS, secure project development funding and building a globally significant battery minerals business.

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • 2022 – Possible off-take partner and funding for the GNCP Project. Further exploration results.

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 June 20 Cobalt Blue reported: “Demonstration plant – Ore extraction underway, commissioning continues.”

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • 2022 – Possible off-take agreements. Feasibility Study & project approvals. Final Investment decision. Project Funding.

Investors can watch a CEO interview here and a recent presentation here.

Havilah Resources [ASX:HAV] [GR:FWL] (OTCPK:HAVRF)

Havilah 100% own the Mutooroo copper-cobalt project about 60km west of Broken Hill in South Australia. They also have the nearby Kalkaroo copper-gold-cobalt project (optioned to Oz Minerals), 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 May 30, Havilah Resources announced: “Quarterly activities & cash flow report – Period ended 30 April 2022.” Highlights include:

  • “Senior management activities were focused on finalising the terms of the Proposed Transaction (Kalkaroo Option and Strategic Alliance) with OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL), which was announced subsequent to the end of the quarter.
  • The revised West Kalkaroo gold open pit (West Kalkaroo) PEPR document was essentially completed but will not be re-submitted to DEM at this time in light of the Proposed Transaction.
  • Evaluation of existing geological, geophysical and geochemical data for the Mutooroo Project Area has identified many robust copper-cobalt exploration targets that will be followed up during 2022.
  • Commencement of 2022 resource expansion drilling program at the Mutooroo copper-cobalt deposit.
  • Planning and logistical preparations are in hand for additional shallow reverse circulation drilling program at the Grants Basin and Grants iron ore projects.
  • Interim Financial Report for the financial half-year ended 31 January 2022 was released.”

On June 22, Havilah Resources announced: “Accelerated discovery initiative support for Benagerie Dyke exploration.”

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • 2022 – West Kalkaroo gold starter open pit permitting and Feasibility Study.

Investors can learn more by reading the Trend Investing article “Havilah Resources Has Huge Potential and/or the update article. You can also view a 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.

No significant news for the month.

Investors can view the latest company presentation here.

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • Q1 2022 – Walford Creek revised PFS due.

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.

No news for the month.

Investors can read a company investor presentation here.

Global Energy Metals Corp. [TSXV:GEMC][GR:5GE1] (OTC:GBLEF)

On May 31, Global Energy Metals Corp. announced:

Global Energy Metals announces launch of new corporate website and refreshed marketing material highlighting the company’s investment exposure to the electrified future.

On June 2, Global Energy Metals Corp. announced:

Global Energy Metals provides update on completion of partner funded Phase 1 drilling at the Millennium Cobalt-Copper-Gold Project in Queensland, Australia.

On June 14, Global Energy Metals Corp. announced: “Global Energy Metals initializes summer exploration program on cobalt, copper, nickel projects in Nevada; Utilizes GoldSpot’s AI & Machine Learning Targeting Technology.” Highlights include:

  • “The Lovelock Mine project is a past-producing high-grade cobalt, copper, nickel project on the doorstep of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.
  • In a recent drill program at Lovelock, elevated values of cobalt, nickel and copper were intercepted in three of the holes which targeted possible mineralization beneath the historical mine workings.
  • The Treasure Box project hosts mine workings from limited copper production. A historical diamond drill hole drilled at the Treasure Box by the Boyer-Nevada Copper Company reportedly intersected 1.52% copper over 85 feet (25.9 metres) with mineralization beginning at surface.
  • Global Energy holds an 85% interest in the Projects through its wholly owned subsidiary, US Battery Metals Corp.
  • GEMC is utilizing GoldSpot’s artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to help optimize exploration targets.
  • The summer programs will focus on developing new targets on the Lovelock project and further define high potential historical prospects from the target pipeline compilation on the Treasure Box project.”

Investors can read a Trend Investing article on GEMC here.

TMC the metals company (TMC)

No significant news for the month.

Other juniors and miners with cobalt

Happy to hear any news updates from commentators. Tickers of cobalt juniors I will be following include:

21st Century Metals (CSE: BULL), 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].

Conclusion

June saw cobalt spot prices slightly lower, LME inventory was flat.

Highlights for the month were:

  • Congress and Pentagon seek to shore up strategic mineral stockpile dominated by China.
  • Severe global battery shortage likely post 2025, GlobalData forecasts.
  • Goldman says bull market in battery metals is finished for now. Still, prices could soar again after 2024.
  • Fitch Solutions report: Global miners can continue to expect an “exceptional year of earnings” through 2022 as a broad commodity price rally underpins strong financial results.
  • Tesla supply chain problems are paramount concern – Musk. Hindered by raw material shortages.
  • China’s Huayou Cobalt announces new investments in cobalt, lithium.
  • Umicore and Idemitsu to jointly develop high-performance solid-state battery materials.
  • Nickel 28 announces strong financial results and large debt repayment.
  • Electra evaluates development of second battery materials refinery in North America. Potentially to be in Bécancour, Canada.
  • Ardea Resource: Confirmation of high-grade nickel-cobalt from Goongarrie Hill metallurgical drilling.
  • Cobalt Blue: Demonstration plant – Ore extraction underway, commissioning continues.
  • Global Energy Metals initializes summer exploration program on cobalt, copper, nickel projects in Nevada.

As usual all comments are welcome.



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