First Cobalt said on Thursday it began drilling at Iron Creek, its cobalt-copper project in Idaho, seeking to double production as higher demand for electric vehicles boosted prices for the metals used in the batteries.
A global drive towards electrification of road transport to reduce carbon emissions has pushed up prices for battery metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and copper.
"Resuming drilling in Idaho supports our strategy of building a North American battery materials supply chain and is supported by stronger commodity prices and a constructive outlook for a domestic EV supply chain," CEO Trent Mell said.
The company expects an even larger drill campaign in 2022 to fast-track its plans for domestic mine supply, assuming drill results are as expected in 2021.
The company had recently put in place the required financing to expand and recommission its battery materials refinery in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2022, Mell added