Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The rush for cobalt in Cobalt, Ontario

There's a new gold rush underway in northern Ontario, but the demand is for a metal that is used in everything from smart phones to electric cars. More than a dozen mining companies are staking out claims in Cobalt, Ontario as price of the mineral with the same name rises.

The town of Cobalt is located along the Quebec border and is best known for the massive amounts of silver that was extracted a century ago.
The mining industry hasn't seen much action in the community for decades, but that's changing as demand for the metal grows. More than half the world's supply of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, where child labor is common.

Booming town of Cobalt, 1906
A year and a half ago, a pound of Cobalt cost $10. Now it's more than doubled. Demand for the mineral is expected to double in the next 3-5 years.
Cobalt 27 Capital Corp made its debut on Canada's Venture Exchange raising C$200 million in a listing that offers investors pure exposure to cobalt.
Cobalt 27 owns 2,160 tonnes of cobalt — worth about $125 million, according to LME prices. The cobalt is stored in warehouses in Baltimore, Antwerp and Rotterdam. Most cobalt is a byproduct of copper and nickel production.

Cobalt 27's management is planning to grow the business through royalties and agreements with mining companies to buy all or part of their cobalt output at a fixed, predetermined price. "The company has entered into six agreements to acquire royalties on eight exploration-stage properties containing cobalt, to be acquired immediately following closing of the offering," the company said in an investor presentation.