As a vertically integrated North American cobalt company, our strategy at First Cobalt is to explore, develop and refine material in North America for sale back into the American battery market. We are focused on three strategic assets to execute on this strategy:
With a strong balance sheet, we are fully funded to complete the 2018 exploration programs with metallurgical and processing studies underway. Our Board and Management teams are a diverse group of experienced mine-builders, mine-operators, financiers and company-makers, positioning First Cobalt to be at the forefront of the cobalt-driven battery movement in the coming years.
Cobalt is a hard, lustrous metal with high energy density, low thermal conductivity. Cobalt is used in certain rechargeable lithium-ion battery electrodes, specifically within the cathode, to provide stability and prolonged battery life.
Assuming a mere 10% of the 2026 NCM cathode market adopts the 811 chemistry, battery grade cobalt output, which was nearly 50,000 tpa in 2017, will have to increase to 205,000 tpa to meet the cobalt demands of the entire battery industry.
Over 90% of the world’s cobalt is currently mined as a by-product of copper or nickel operations. Our vision at First Cobalt is to become the largest primary cobalt producer outside the DRC and the most attractive cobalt stock on the market.
First Cobalt’s objective is to build the largest pure-play cobalt exploration and development company in the world. The Company is a non-DRC cobalt company with three significant North American assets:
First Cobalt Refinery
The First Cobalt Refinery is a hydrometallurgical cobalt-silver-nickel refinery located approximately five kilometres east of Cobalt, Ontario. The facility was commissioned in 1996 and in its current configuration can accomodate a throughputofo 24 tonnes per day. The current footprint includes an empty feed warehouse that once housed a mill. The facility is located on a 40-acre property that can be expanded to 120 acres with two settling ponds and an autoclave pond.
A 2012 report prepared for a previous owner by Hatch estimated the replacement value of the First Cobalt Refinery at US$78 million, excluding the capital invested in power lines and earthworks related to the tailings facility and roads.
The facility is fully permitted for processing feed containing elevated concentrations of arsenic, such as those from the Cobalt Camp, the Idaho Cobalt Belt and elsewhere in North America. The Company believes that permitting a similar facility in North America today could take a significant investment of time.
The ability of the Refinery to process materials containing elevated arsenic and produce cobalt battery materials could de-risk not only First Cobalt projects, but also other North American cobalt projects.
Iron Creek – Idaho
The Iron Creek Cobalt Property is located in Lemhi County, Idaho, along the most prolific trend of cobalt mineralization in the USA, the Idaho Cobalt Belt (Figure 1). The Iron Creek Project has a historic estimate of 1.3M tons grading an average of 0.59% cobalt and 0.3% copper (non-compliant with NI 43-101*).
The property benefits from a substantial amount of historical exploratory work, including approximately 30,000 feet of diamond drilling, and the mining of 1,500 feet of underground workings. The mineralization-style is semi-massive sulphide within argillaceous sedimentary rocks. Cobalt appears dominantly within fine grained massive pyrite.
The Project area is located on mining patents with significant infrastructure already in place. Underground development includes 600m of drifting from three adits, and an all weather road connects the Project to highway 93.
Greater Cobalt – Ontario
The Greater Cobalt Project began in 2017 with a maiden drill program of 7,000 metres, designed with the intent of testing several areas known to be cobalt-rich over the two kilometre strike length of the Keeley-Frontier vein system, including Haileybury and Bellellen.
First Cobalt has assembled an extensive property package to facilitate an exploration program across the over 10,000 hectares the Company owns to leverage this historic knowledge through the re-evaluation of the silver-cobalt mineralized system. The Camp is divided into three exploration regions
2018 Cobalt Camp Program
The 26,500 metre drilling program for 2018 was been designed to test mineralized areas throughout the Cobalt Camp with known historical production of cobalt and silver. These areas include the Kerr, Drummond, Juno, Ophir, Hamilton, Silver Banner and Silverfields mines in Cobalt North, the Caswell mine in Cobalt Central, and the Bellellen, Keeley and Frontier mines in Cobalt South (Figure 1).
Results from the 2017 drill program indicate that cobalt occurs as different styles of mineralization in the Cobalt Camp largely due to different geological settings. This program will test several prospective areas to ascertain near-surface mineralization potential. Shallow surface drilling methods, such as reverse circulation drilling will be utilized at some prospects prior to diamond drilling to more accurately define the extent and dip character of the veins and determine if cobalt grades are sufficient for follow-up.
The 2017, a 40 hole program completed over 10,800m of drilling, largely from surface. Drilling traced mineralization for over 800m and is open to west and down-dip. Assay results confirm the historic mineralization and indicate potentially broader cobalt mineralization zones in places. The 2017 program is the foundation for an NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate expected in 2018.
In 2018, a 70 drill hole, 15,000m program is planned to expand mineralized area and infill the known mineralization.
At First Cobalt, we pride ourselves on being a transformational exploration company. For one, we are one of the first and only companies whose primary focus is finding new sources of cobalt. More importantly, the cobalt projects we bring forward will be a key element to fueling the lithium-ion batteries that are used in electric vehicles and for electric battery storage. Both technologies will help significantly reduce world carbon emissions, accelerate the world economy’s transition to a low-carbon future and, in turn, be key solutions for tackling climate change.
This is why we view cobalt as a revolutionary resource opportunity.