Miners More Optimistic as Cobalt Prices Shoot Up On Continued Battery Materials Demand

PALM BEACH, Florida, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary 

Recent reports that Apple is now chasing after cobalt from active mining companies has put a huge spotlight on the industry concerning the valuable metal's impending supply shortage. More than 60 percent of the world's cobalt is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By moving to buy straight from miners, Apple is looking to find a level of guaranteeing their supply chain is clean. Demand for as well as the price of cobalt has skyrocketed since just over a year on projections of fast-growing demand for electric vehicles, whose lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are also dependent on the metal. Some industry professional believe it is likely the market will see other major electronics manufacturers like Samsung and LG Chem follow the path taken by Apple by opting for longer-term contracts with major cobalt miners to secure future supply. Cobalt/Lithium miners with developments include: LiCo Energy Metals Inc. (OTC:WCTXF) (TSX-V:LIC), First Cobalt Corp. (OTC: FTSSF) (TSXV: FCC), Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX), Advantage Lithium Corp. (OTC: AAUKF) (TSXV:AAL), Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE).

 LiCo Energy Metals Inc. (OTCQB: WCTXF) (TSX-V: LIC.V) BREAKING NEWS: LiCo Energy Metals is pleased to the update its shareholders on the completion on the Teledyne Cobalt Property Phase 1 diamond drilling program. During the fall of 2017, LiCo completed 11 diamond drill holes totaling 2,200 m. The drill program, along with the Phase 1 diamond drilling program completed on the Glencore Bucke Property, satisfied LiCo's flow-through financing obligations.

"We are extremely pleased with the overall results, especially the grades and widths of the cobalt mineralization intersected in the majority of the drill holes from the Teledyne Phase 1 drill program. We view the results of both the Teledyne and Glencore Bucke drill programs as being successful" commented Mr. Tim Fernback, President & CEO of LiCo. "Now that we have all the drill results, LiCo will design the Phase 2 drill program which will then become the basis of completing a 43-101 Compliant resource estimation. We are very excited about the future and commencing Phase 2 on both the Teledyne and Glencore Bucke properties in the future".

From 1979 through to 1980, Teledyne Canada Ltd., completed 6 surface diamond drill holes and 22 underground diamond drills for an aggregate of 3,160.8 m on the Teledyne Cobalt Property. Based on the surface and underground diamond drill programs, historical reserves of 60,000 tons in the geologically inferred category, and 40,000 tons in the probable category, at an average grade of 0.45% Co, 0.6 oz/t Ag was estimated (Linn, 1983). The reserve estimate is a historical estimate as defined by National Instrument 43-101. The historical reserve estimate contains categories that are not consistent with current CIM definitions. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. No attempt was made to reconcile the historical reserve calculations as reported by Teledyne Tungsten. LiCo is not treating the historical reserve estimate as a current mineral resource or mineral reserve. Read this and more news for LiCo Energy at: http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/wctxf.html  

LiCo's Phase 1 diamond drill program was designed to confirm and extend the existing known mineralization along strike and up and down dip, and LiCo was successful in completing this objective. The program tested the Teledyne Zone for a strike length of approximately 220 m. A Summary of the most significant results of the Phase 1 Diamond Drill Program completed on the Teledyne Cobalt Property are:

- TE17‐01 0.62% Co over 6.00 m from 136.00 to 142.00 m including 3.92% Co over 0.75 m from 140.25 to 141.00 m.

- TE17-02 0.95% Co over 1.90 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 3.90 m from 156.0 to 159.9 m, incl. 2.22% Co over 0.60 m from 156.6 to 157.2 m.

- TE17‐04 1.82% Co over 6.00 m from 138.00 to 144.00 m, including 5.06% Co over 1.75 m from 141.25 to 143.00 m

- TE17‐05 2.32% Co over 4.00 m from 126.5 to 130.50 m

- TE17‐05 1.70% Co over 6.00 m from 136.00 to 142.00 m.

- TE17-07 0.50% Co over 2.10 m from 127.60 to 129.70 m

- TE17-08 0.77% Co over 3.40 m from 169.50 to 172.90 m, including 1.17% Co over 2.00 m from 169.50 to 171.50 m.

- TE17-08 0.59% Co over 1.20 m from 174.00 to 175.20 m.

- TE17-08 0.62% Co over 0.60 m from 178.60 to 179.20 m.

- TE17-11 0.54% Co over 2.00 m from 130.00 to 132.00 m

A summary of the most significant results from the Phase 1 diamond drilling program are provided in Table 1, while drill hole collar information is provided in Table 2 which can be seen at:  http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/wctxf.html

In other mining industry news and developments:

First Cobalt Corp. (OTCQB: FTSSF) (TSXV: FCC) recently announced it has commenced its 2018 borehole geophysical and optical televiewer survey program to test holes drilled in Cobalt South and for the first time in Cobalt North. The borehole program is intended to expand known zones of cobalt mineralization and further define the controlling structures in these two areas. The borehole geophysical data will also be used to assess ground geophysical methods for detecting blind cobalt mineralization elsewhere in the Cobalt camp.  Dr. Frank Santaguida, vice-president of exploration, commented:  "Combining survey data with assay results and geological logs allows for quicker assessment and follow-up during the next stage of drilling. Borehole televiewer surveys are a relatively modern mineral exploration tool that will help map previously mined silver vein systems and could spatially define mineralization trends to predict where cobalt mineralization occurs."

In an article issued by Miningne.ws, several parties are interested in buying Freeport-McMoRan Inc's (NYSE: FCX) cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo but not at a price that would interest the miner and so it is not planning a sale, Freeport's chief executive officer said. As a result, Freeport is looking at other options for the asset, including possibly a joint venture to develop the large cobalt project, CEO Richard Adkerson said.  Freeport last year tried to sell its cobalt assets, including the Kisanfu exploration project in Congo and the Kokkola cobalt refinery in Finland, to China Molybdenum, as part of its sale of a stake in its Tenke Fungurume copper mine in the Congo. Read the full article here http://www.miningne.ws/2018/02/27/miner-freeport-says-no-plans-to-sell-congo-cobalt-asset/

Orocobre Ltd. (OTC:OROCF) (TSX:ORL) and Advantage Lithium Corp. (OTCQX: AAUKF) (TSXV:AAL) recently provided an update on the results of the pumping test conducted on CAU07 in the northwest sector of the Cauchari joint venture properties, located in the Jujuy province, Argentina.  The exploration program is being managed by JV partner Advantage Lithium, which hold 75 per cent of Cauchari. Orocobre owns 33 per cent of Advantage Lithium's issued capital. Included highlights were: Positive results from CAU07 four-step pumping test suggest rates as high as 36 litres per second are achievable; CAU07 constant rate pumping test conducted at 17 litres per second over 48 hours with flow limited by the pump capacity; Good brine chemistry with 19 samples taken over the pumping test averaging 601 milligrams per litre lithium and 4,853 milligrams per litre potassium with a magnesium-lithium ratio of 2.6 to 1; Hole CAU13 in the southeast sector of Cauchari intersected a sequence of sandy sediments below 400 metres, adding additional brine volume in this area for the coming resource estimate.

In a recent article, it was reported Vale (NYSE: VALE) is reevaluating its plans for its Vale New Caledonia nickel project due to its improved results and the positive impact of higher cobalt prices, chief executive officer Fabio Schvartsman said on Wednesday February 28. "We are waiting to see where things are going to move forward to in order to make a decision in the VNC situation," he told analysts during a conference call.  It is clear that the situation now is different from where we were six months ago and we are reacting accordingly," Schvartsman added.  Vale said in 2016 that its patience with VNC had ended and warned that it was considering alternatives for the then loss-making project. Read the full article Here https://www.fastmarkets.com/base-metals-news/americas/vale-optimistic-prospects-nickel-project-new-caledonia-ceo-says/   

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