Lithium and Cobalt Markets Benefit From Growing Demand for Rechargeable Batteries

26 Jan 2018
The lithium-ion battery market is expected to be valued USD 68.97Billion by 2022, or growing at a CAGR of 16.6% between 2016 and 2022. The market for lithium nickel manganese cobalt battery type is expected to grow at the highest rate between 2016 and 2022. Reuters reported that by 2020, 75 percent of lithium-ion batteries will contain cobalt, whose properties allow electric cars to extend their range between charges, according to eCobalt Solutions. The growth of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery market is a result of demand for electric vehicles, smart devices and other consumer electronics, as well as of strict government mandates on fuel economy. First Cobalt Corp. (OTC: FTSSF), FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Sociedad Químicay Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM), Glencore Plc (OTC: GLNCY) A report by Rockstone-Research also indicates the importance of cobalt in the market. According to Rockstone-Research, "The growth of the li-ion battery industry, which has already contributed to booms in both the graphite and lithium space, is likely to result in growing demand for cobalt, given it's a key material input in most li-ion battery cells. Cobalt prices have already started rising, but are still a long way from their pre-financial crisis highs. Second, there is a serious geopolitical situation brewing in the DRC, the country responsible for over 60% of annual global primary cobalt production. If those developments turn sour and the current president, Joseph Kabila once again fails to step down at the end of 2017, then there is the real possibility of an outbreak of unrest in the country. That could lead to significant disruption to cobalt output from the country, the likely result of which would be a serious global cobalt supply squeeze."
First Cobalt Corp. (OTCQB: FTSSF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol 'FCC'. On December 19th the company announced, "New positive drill results from its 2017 drill program, confirming the presence of three cobalt bearing veins to the southwest of the past-producing Keeley mine in the Canadian Cobalt Camp. First Cobalt's 2017 drill campaign is targeting cobalt mineralization over a two kilometre strike length, representing less than two percent of its land package with several known historic cobalt-rich mines."
  • 0.12% Co over 5.50m, including 0.68% Co over 0.34m in the Woods vein system which, together with the Watson vein, accounted for over 80% of the production in the Cobalt South area of the Cobalt Camp
  • Greater than 1.00% Co over 0.42m* in the KeeleyCo#1 vein and 0.60% Co over 0.38m in the KeeleyCo#2 vein
  • KeeleyCo#1 and KeeleyCo#2 veins are two metres apart and are interpreted as parallel structures to the Woods vein, where only minor mine workings exist
  • Zinc and lead intersected as part of a hydrothermal halo around the vein systems provides another example of previously unknown metal zoning now seen elsewhere in the Cobalt Camp 
Trent Mell, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We have identified cobalt mineralization to the north and south of the historic Keeley and Frontier silver-cobalt mines. Intersecting meaningful cobalt veins at the Woods Vein Extension and now at the southern extent of the Keeley mine has provided important data points and insights into historic mining operations. We are learning valuable structural information in this first drill program that will be applied to an ambitious camp-
wide drill program commencing in January 2018."
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