TSX-listed eCobalt Solutions has identified the potential to increase the targeted production rate at its Idaho cobalt project to 1 200 t/d from the previously planned 800 t/d.
The 50% increase in anticipated production within the updated mine plan should create more resilient project economics that can withstand the volatility of the cobalt market.
Additionally, a larger and more robust plan will further elevate the company’s position in the cobalt market, the company said on Monday.
“Although the cobalt market has been quite volatile over the last 12 months, the importance of this commodity in the impending electric vehicle revolution has not waned.
“Prices for cobalt are still expected to strengthen beyond 2020, aligning well with the date the company aims for the product to reach the market,” said eCobalt president and CEO Michael Callahan.
The company had taken a look at the work that was in progress on the project’s feasibility study and rigorously tested all the assumptions to determine whether a larger and stronger plan could be developed.
The result of this work demonstrated that the incremental cost of retrofitting the mill to process more tonnage is supported by considerably stronger economies of scale, while having no expected impact on the approved plan of operations.
“This plan would allow us to produce more cobalt earlier, thereby increasing cash flows early in the mine life, improving payback and overall project economics,” said Callahan.
eCobalt is working with Micon International to finalise the feasibility-level study for the 1 200 t/d mine plan.