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Cobalt News

Sumitomo says Ambatovy nickel plant shut for 2 weeks in February

By: Reuters     20th March 2019 Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp said on Wednesday its Ambatovy nickel plant in Madagascar was forced to shut for about two weeks in early February due to trouble at its hydrogen plant, and may miss its revised annual production target. Sumitomo owns a 47.7% stake in Ambatovy, while South... 

Winmar buy gets back-up

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th March 2019 An independent valuation of the Luapula processing facility, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has estimated an asset value of more than $33.3-million, on an as-is basis. Cobalt hopeful Winmar Resources last year struck a deal with African Holding Investment Company to acquire a 50% interest... 

Junior miner gets new lease of life with successful refinancing process

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th March 2019 London AIM-listed junior miner African Battery Metals (ABM) announced early this month that it had successfully concluded its refinancing process. Last December, ABM was suspended from trading on the AIM because of its poor financial situation. At that time, its obligations to short-term... 

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases

By: Tracy Hancock     15th March 2019 Investors focused on the mining sector may not fully appreciate how quickly the electric vehicle (EV) is being adopted globally, in light of the world pursuing a low-carbon emissions future, says battery metals investment vehicle Colbalt 27 Capital chairperson and CEO Anthony Milewski, who warns... 

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases

Horizonte reports positive results from Vermelho testwork

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th March 2019 Metallurgical and smelting test work conducted on dual-listed Horizonte’s Vermelho nickel/cobalt project has returned positive results, confirming the project’s potential to produce high-grade, commercial specification ferronickel from saprolite and transition ore. Vermelho is Horizonte’s second... 

Winmar hoping for first production in Q3

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th March 2019 Cobalt hopeful Winmar Resources was hoping to start production from its Luapula processing facility, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), by the third quarter of this year. Winmar chairperson Jason Brewer told delegates at the Paydirt Battery Minerals conference that the start of... 

RBPlat reopens UG2 shaft, creates UG2 access points at Styldrift  

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2019 Flexibility is a re-emphasised aspect of platinum group metals (PGMs) mining strategy. Changed demand has resulted in the need to twist and turn quickly to benefit from the rise in prices of metals in the PGM basket. Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri made special mention of... 

RBPlat reopens UG2 shaft, creates UG2 access points at Styldrift
Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Christo Greyling.

Algorithms join hunt for cobalt backed by Gates, Bezos and Dalio

By: Bloomberg     4th March 2019 A coalition of billionaires led by Bill Gates has thrown its financial weight behind a startup hoping to build a "Google Maps for the earth’s crust" to hunt for new sources of cobalt. The startup, Kobold Metals, is using data-crunching algorithms to scour the globe for cobalt, in a bet that... 

Congo President supports predecessor's mining policies  

By: Bloomberg     4th March 2019 The Democratic Republic of Congo’s new President appeared to offer support to his predecessor’s defining mining policies, which are opposed by international investors active in the country. “We will clean up the business climate through the popularization of the new mining code and the conclusion... 

Sherritt’s Fort Saskatchewan reaches nickel production milestone

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st March 2019 TSX-listed Sherritt’s Fort Saskatchewan metals refinery has reached a production milestone of producing three-billion pounds of nickel since operations started in 1954. “As one of Canada’s oldest mining companies, we are proud of this important milestone,” said David Pathe, CEO and President of... 

Glencore CEO is said to meet Congo leader after ties strained

By: Bloomberg     1st March 2019 Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg met the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new president this week, their first encounter since Felix Tshisekedi took office, according to people familiar with the matter. The meeting comes after relations between mining companies and the government deteriorated last... 

Glencore cites trade as its 'foremost risk', others rising

By: Reuters     1st March 2019 Miner and trader Glencore said trade barriers are its "foremost risk", but climate, political, legal and other risks had become more prominent. Glencore, said in its annual report published on Friday that it was seeking to mitigate these challenges through conservative spending and strict... 

How the cobalt market fell victim to the allure of electric cars

By: Bloomberg     1st March 2019 Cobalt prices were surging so much last year that thieves were carrying out elaborate heists at warehouses in Europe’s busiest port. Now, prices are in free fall and mining companies are taking the financial hit. The story of what happened is the classic boom-bust in commodities. In the case of... 

How the cobalt market fell victim to the allure of electric cars

ERG focused on advancing electric vehicle and battery industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     1st March 2019 While some volatility is expected, there is optimism about the prospects of demand for cobalt and copper in 2019 which will be sustained in part by the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), says diversified natural resources producer Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) CEO Benedikt Sobotka. 

ERG focused on advancing electric vehicle and battery industry
Benedikt Sobotka ERG remains committed to sourcing materials in a responsible and sustainable manner and raising the quality of life for local communities

Belgian fast-moving 'caterpillar' in deep sea copper, cobalt race

By: Reuters     27th February 2019 Belgian group DEME and Canada's DeepGreen are carrying out tests and research to collect nodules containing copper, cobalt and other minerals from the ocean floor, as a race to mine the depths gathers pace. Deep sea mining is often dismissed as unaffordable and environmentally hazardous because... 

Thackaringa tussle continues

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th February 2019 The tug-of-war between joint venture (JV) partners Broken Hill Prospecting and Cobalt Blue over the Thackaringa cobalt project, in South Australia, has intensified. ASX-listed Broken Hill on Tuesday went to the market to reject claims by Cobalt Blue that its interest in the JV had fallen to... 

Fourteen NGOs oppose LME plans to ban tainted cobalt

By: Reuters     22nd February 2019 Fourteen non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including Amnesty and Global Witness have opposed plans by the London Metal Exchange to ban cobalt tainted by human rights abuses, a letter seen by Reuters showed. Cobalt is a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, a... 

First Cobalt hires former Idaho governor to serve on board

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st February 2019 Pure-play cobalt company First Cobalt has appointed the longest consecutively-serving government in the US – Butch Otter – to serve on its board of directors. Otter retired as Idaho governor in January, having served for 12 years. 

UG2 outperforms as Sibanye positions for new world ­  

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2019 The soaring prices of rhodium and palladium have put new focus on the upper group two (UG2) reef, for long the poor cousin of Merensky reef in the hierarchy of platinum group metals (PGMs) mining. Merensky's predominant platinum content has made it the preferred reef for decades but UG2 is... 

UG2 outperforms as Sibanye positions for new world ­
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman's results presentation reported on by Mining Weekly Online's Martin Creamer. Photograph: Creamer Media's Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media's Darlene Creamer.

African cobalt to continue dominating EV battery space – consultant

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st February 2019 Africa will continue to play a dominant role in the supply of cobalt for use in electric vehicle batteries, says Core Consulting MD Lara Smith. Speaking at a South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) breakfast seminar, in Johannesburg, on Thursday, she indicated that, from an... 

Idaho cobalt project development stalled by weak near-term price outlook

By: Mariaan Webb     20th February 2019 TSX-listed eCobalt Solutions has announced cost control measures to preserve its treasury, until the cobalt market recovers sufficiently to raise the necessary funding required for the advanced-stage Idaho cobalt project (ICP) in the US. The company will be reducing its overhead costs so that... 

ERG will suspend copper, cobalt output at Congo mine this month

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2019 Eurasian Resources Group will halt production at a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as it considers future investment in new production methods. The shutdown at Boss Mining Sprl will curb cobalt supplies from a nation that accounts for three-quarters of global... 

Implats announces revised interim HEPS, EPS figures

By: Simone Liedtke     18th February 2019 Following the release of a trading statement earlier this month, Impala Platinum (Implats) on Monday said that it “now has reasonable certainty” that its headline earnings and headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six-month period ended December 31, 2018, are likely to be between... 

eCobalt sees potential to increase production rate at Idaho project

15th February 2019 Cobalt producer eCobalt Solutions has identified the potential to increase the targeted production rate to 1 200 t/d from 800 t/d, an increase of 50% compared to the previous mine plan, at its Idaho cobalt project, located near the town of Salmon in east-central Idaho, in the US. The project is... 

eCobalt sees potential  to increase production  rate at Idaho project
Photo by Bloomberg
COBALT SUPPLY CHAIN The cobalt supply chain, from mine production to intermediates and finished product, has rapidly transformed over the past several years in response to the electric vehicle market

Nico project positioned to help meet growing cobalt demand

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     15th February 2019 Development-stage mining company Fortune Minerals’ Nico cobalt/gold/bismuth/copper project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is one of the few cobalt development stage projects situated outside of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that can support near-term accelerating demand for cobalt,... 

Nico project positioned to help meet growing cobalt demand
ROBIN GOAD Fortune Minerals’ Nico asset is unique, as the cobalt produced is the primary metal in the deposit and the byproducts are gold and bismuth

Cobalt's price crash bottoming out, stocks to hinder quick rally

By: Reuters     12th February 2019 Cobalt's near year-long price slide is finally coming to an end, but high inventories of the battery metal will stop prices quickly re-claiming 2018's 10-year highs. London Metal Exchange prices have crashed to two-year lows of $32 000/t compared with levels near $100 000 in the first half of 2018. 

Xolobeni judgment continues to confound 

By: Martin Creamer     11th February 2019 Mining must take place with a strong focus on the interests of those who live in mining areas, says Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, a standpoint that supports the notion that a mining right and a land right can co-exist, without pleasing one party at the expense of the other.  But the... 

Xolobeni judgment continues to confound
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe

Demand for impeller, agitator tech in DRC increasing

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     8th February 2019 Demand for more effective and efficient impeller and agitator technology is on a dramatic upward trend in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), says industrial agitator and mixer manufacturer Mixtec sales and projects manager Rudi Swanepoel. He notes that the company sees a significant... 

Demand for  impeller, agitator tech in DRC increasing
MIXTEC MIXER Mixtec retrofits pre-existing mixers with modern custom designs

Infrastructure, energy supply continue to hamper DRC mining operations

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     8th February 2019 Infrastructure and energy supply issues continue to hamper mining and processing operations, as well as the broader economy, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says international metals and minerals consultancy Roskill director Jack Bedder. Despite the country having significant... 

Infrastructure, energy  supply continue to hamper DRC mining operations
POWER PROBLEM The energy sector remains a major inhibitor to economic development and social inclusion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC’s new President an ‘unknown factor’ as far as mining is concerned

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th February 2019 The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), lying pretty much in the centre of Africa, is geographically the 11th biggest country in the world and is well-known for its mineral riches. In its most recent (2014) report “The Mineral Industry of Congo (Kinshasa)”, the US Geological Survey (USGS) noted... 

DRC’s new President an ‘unknown factor’ as far as mining is concerned

Fourteen NGOs oppose LME plans to ban tainted cobalt

By: Reuters     7th February 2019 Fourteen nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) including Amnesty and Global Witness have opposed plans by the London Metal Exchange to ban cobalt tainted by human rights abuses, a letter seen by Reuters showed. Cobalt is a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, a... 

Namibia Critical Metals signs deal for Kunene small-scale mining initiative

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th February 2019 TSX-V-listed Namibia Critical Metals has signed a deal with a private, undisclosed Namibia-based group for the development of a small-scale manganese mine at its wholly-owned subsidiary Kunene Resources Namibia’s operations. The agreement allows the local Namibian group to produce manganese... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland 

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2019 Mining can and will deliver massive benefits if all stakeholders work together, Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday Speaking on the third day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, he outlined the huge potential of collaborative government,... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland
Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland speaks about the winds of change blowing in South Africa and the DRC and the benefits mining companies, African governments and communities can reap if all parties work together. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Sumitomo books $137m one-off losses on Ambatovy nickel project

By: Reuters     6th February 2019 Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp booked one-off losses of about 15-billion yen ($137-million) on the Ambatovy nickel/cobalt project in Madagascar in the October to December quarter and cut its nickel output estimate for the current year for the project. The losses include about 10-billion... 

Ford engages the mining sector on the road to more EVs

By: Kim Cloete     5th February 2019 Ford is quickening its pace towards the mass production of electric vehicles (EVs) and researching how the mining industry can help it to achieve its goals. “There are tremendous investments taking place at every level to achieve this radical revolution in the automotive industry,” Ford energy... 

Significant new target areas discovered at Zamsort

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th February 2019 Initial results from Arc Minerals’ airborne geophysical and soil sampling programme at the Zamsort copper/cobalt project, in north-western Zambia, have identified significant new target areas. Two large new targets – Cheyeza West and Lumbeta – have been discovered. 

Underlying demand growth remains a boon for cobalt and copper – ERG

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st February 2019 While many industrial commodities fell victim to geopolitical and macroeconomic woes in 2018, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) CEO Benedikt Sobotka expects to see a strong upside for cobalt and copper this year as underlying demand rallies. With some additional volatility expected ahead, the severe... 

Glencore’s FY18 copper, cobalt output up on restart of Katanga processing operations 

1st February 2019 Diversified miner Glencore on Friday reported an 11% year-on-year increase in its copper production and a 54% year-on-year increase in its cobalt output, mainly as a result of the restart of Democratic Republic of Congo- (DRC-) based subsidiary Katanga Mining’s processing operations in late 2017.... 

Glencore’s FY18 copper, cobalt output up on restart of Katanga processing operations
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