Idaho Cobalt Operations, US – update

Aerial view of the Idaho Cobalt operations, in Canada

Photo by Jervois Global

11th August 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO).

Idaho, in the US.

Project Owner/s
Jervois Global.

Project Description
The project was partially constructed when Jervois acquired it in July 2019, with more than $120-million invested by the previous owners since the discovery of the cobalt deposit.

An updated bankable feasibility study (BFS) has confirmed the potential of ICO to establish a near-term, low-cost cobalt/copper/cobalt mine, with significant opportunity to increase the mineral resource and extend mine reserves once mining starts.

The BFS is based on extracting 2.5-million metric tons of ore at an average grade of 0.55% cobalt, 0.80% copper and 0.64 g/t gold. Based on a processing rate of 1 200 t/d, the project could produce 1 915 t/y of cobalt, 2 900 t/y of copper and 6 700 oz/y of gold in concentrate over a seven-year life-of-mine.

The operation will comprise a 1 200 t/d mill and concentrator to produce separated cobalt and copper concentrates.

Jervois has also completed engineering design and costing, flowsheets to produce separate cobalt and copper concentrates, and calcined cobalt concentrate as part of the BFS.

Potential Job Creation
The project is expected to create about 200 construction jobs and 180 operational positions once the site transitions to commercial production.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a real post-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $95.7-million and an internal rate of return of 40.6%.

Capital Expenditure

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Jervois entered an agreement for $15-million in funding from the US government for drilling at its ICO and to do a BFS for the construction of a cobalt refinery in the US, in June 2023.

The company has now started site selection for its cobalt refinery, along with drilling at its Sunshine deposit, adjacent to the ICO.

The actions will be fully refundable by the US government under a previously announced Department of Defence funding agreement worth $15-million.

Jervois expects to spend $300 000 to complete the site selection for the refinery. The selection will consider local, state and federal incentives, permitting processes, security of supply chains, logistics, access to workforce capacity and capability, and other technical and operational requirements.

The company is also working on the BFS for the proposed refinery, including progressing planning for other component parts of the study, basic engineering and environmental permitting roadmap development.

Additionally, Jervois has started a $2.4-million surface drilling campaign at the Sunshine deposit, adjacent to the ICO. Mobilisation is under way and drilling is expected to start in September, pending final US Forest Service approval.

The company will complete 2 000 m of drilling from surface, with the results expected to enable the deposit to be upgraded to a modern mineral resource.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
DRA Global and M3 Engineering (BFS).

Contact Details for Project Information
Jervois Global, tel +61 (03) 9583 0498 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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