First Cobalt Corp.

(TSXV:FCC.V) (OTCQX:FTSSF)

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Cobalt’s Importance Underscored by Critical Minerals Listing, Rising EV Sales

NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage

 

New York NY – October 17, 2018 – The United States — and the entire world — have become critically dependent on cobalt, which is essential for rechargeable lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries to retain and discharge electricity.

 

  • Cobalt deemed critical for United States security and economic prosperity
  • Cobalt need expected to increase with soaring Li-ion battery demand
  • S. business and military dependent on unstable cobalt sources; North American initiatives seek solutions

 

In May, cobalt was added to the United States’ list of minerals critical to its security and economic prosperity. Far beyond laptops, phones and electronic gadgets, the Li-ion battery is increasingly important for electric grid power storage and the revved-up electric vehicle market, as well as military applications such as tactical radios, thermal imagers, portable computing and turbine blades in gas turbines and aircraft jet engines.

 

The United States doesn’t currently mine or refine any meaningful amounts of cobalt, and yet it’s expected that within the next five years Li-ion batteries will be utilized in heavy-duty military platforms, such as vehicles, boats and, eventually, aircraft and missiles. The demand and critical importance of cobalt is only expected to increase as the Li-ion battery quickly moves toward ubiquity in civilian computerized applications as well. First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V:FCC) (OTC:FTSSF) (FTSSF Profile) owns and is developing significant North American cobalt-indicated assets. First Cobalt also owns the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery-grade materials, and just released the results of three studies supporting a possible restart of the refinery. Global battery makers Panasonic Corporation (OTC:PCRFY), LG Chemical Company, Ltd. (OTC:LGCLF) and Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE:JCI) rely on cobalt to produce and meet burgeoning Li-ion demand. Even the Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has invested in battery technology to sustain high-energy density in its first steps toward battery-powered flight.

 

To view an infographic of this editorial, click here.

 

Critical Cobalt and Blood Diamonds

 

For more than 20 years, seven African countries endured brutal civil conflicts fueled by diamonds. Civil wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo resulted in the death and displacement of millions of people. “Blood diamonds” helped finance the carnage and led to rampant human rights abuses, as opposing forces sought to gain control of the resource-rich DRC.

 

Though the wars have subsided, cobalt-rich DRC still reportedly has serious political and ethical problems compromising its place in the minerals market. The world’s largest producer of cobalt, the Republic allegedly uses child labor to procure the mineral in the country’s artisanal mines. EV automakers, battery producers and big tech companies are struggling to keep cobalt sources flowing yet free from abusive child labor. The Responsible Cobalt Initiative is the beginning of that movement.

 

Secure Ethical Resources

 

First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V:FCC) (OTC:FTSSF) adopted the Responsible Cobalt Initiative in 2017 and is intently developing North American-based cobalt resources. From raw product to refined chemicals, First Cobalt is rapidly building an economically and politically secure North American cobalt company.

 

The company owns three substantial North American assets. First Cobalt’s flagship asset, Iron Creek Cobalt Project in Idaho, has an exceptionally promising inferred mineral resource estimate of 29.6 million tons grading 0.11 percent cobalt equivalent. In fact, the company announced the outstanding results of its first NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate for the 100 percent-owned property in September, stating the site contains 45 million pounds (20,411 metric tons) of cobalt and 175 million pounds (79,379 metric tons) of copper for 62.9 million pounds (28,528 metric tons) of cobalt equivalent. In addition, First Cobalt owns an immense land package composed of 50 past-producing mines in the renowned Canadian Cobalt Camp – an area in Ontario thought to be a cobalt trove and ripe for revival.

 

North American Cobalt Refining

 

First Cobalt’s other significant asset is its currently shuttered but past-producing cobalt refinery with significant potential. The company is the sole owner of the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery-grade materials, and First Cobalt is now taking actions to investigate a restart of this invaluable asset.

 

The facility is a hydrometallurgical cobalt-silver-nickel refinery that was first commissioned in 1996. The facility is fully permitted for processing feedstocks from that contain elevated concentrations of arsenic, which is common in most of the potential material from North America. Trying to permit a similar facility in North America today would require other companies to invest a substantial amount of both time and capital.

 

In fact, a 2012 report prepared for a previous owner 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. Amazingly, the intrinsic value of the refinery asset alone is about equal to the company’s current total market capitalization. The underlying value of the First Cobalt Refinery will likely be realized once back online in production.

 

First Cobalt just released the results of studies supporting a restart of the First Cobalt Refinery. The three independent studies were commissioned to estimate capital requirements and operating costs, permit renewal timelines, potential feedstock options and offtake opportunities. The studies determined under a base case scenario that the refinery could produce from 626 to 1,171 tons of cobalt per year. The refinery could produce cobalt sulfate for the lithium-ion battery market or cobalt metal for the American aerospace industry and a permitting review concluded that a restart is possible within 18 months of selecting a feedstock under the base case scenario. The First Cobalt Refinery project team is continuing to work with engineering firms, process experts, a cobalt marketing expert and financial advisers to finalize a business plan to restart the facility.

 

President and CEO Trent Mell stated, “The First Cobalt Refinery is a strategic North American asset and potentially our quickest path to cash flow by producing cobalt materials for the North American market. The facility is in excellent condition with permits in place and a short timeline to potential production, as well as optionality for both sources of material and refined product. Future offtake partners may offer flexibility with financing options to minimize dilution as we move forward. We believe that the single best use of the refinery is to provide cobalt for the U.S. market, which does not currently produce a meaningful supply.”

 

The Take Away

 

Cobalt is now regarded as critical to the security and economic prosperity of the United States. The ability of the First Cobalt Refinery to process materials and produce cobalt battery materials or cobalt metal products has the potential to de-risk North American cobalt projects and provide U.S. cobalt consumers verified ethical materials. Importantly to investors, if the refinery is restarted, the value of the asset could increase substantially once it is back online in production.

 

Cobalt Consumers

 

Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE:JCI) offers a portfolio of lithium-ion battery technology for a range of vehicles. With global manufacturing facilities, it provides lithium-ion batteries to power and energy needs around the world. The company is a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries.

 

Panasonic Corporation (OTC:PCRFY) is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions in consumer electronics, housing, automotive and B2B businesses. Panasonic is the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla’s current production models. The company sees Li-ion batteries as central to its plan to significantly boost automotive business revenue.

 

Korea’s leading manufacturer of advanced batteries, LG Chemical Ltd Ord (OTC:LGCLF), announced that it is building an electric vehicle battery plant in Poland, which will be the first such plant in Europe. Once the plant is built, LG Chem will have a global production system of four internationally located plants. LG Chem aims to be a global market leader manufacturing batteries for pure high-performance EVs.

 

The world’s largest aerospace company, the Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), manufactures commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems. Products include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, and electronic and defense systems. Boeing uses batteries for energy storage in nearly all its platforms, including airplanes, helicopters and satellites. Boeing recently invested in a new battery technology to sustain high-energy density and allow the possibility of electrifying some aspects of air transportation in steps toward battery-powered flight.

 

For more information about First Cobalt Corp, please visit First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V:FCC) (OTC:FTSSF).

 

About NetworkNewsWire

NetworkNewsWire (NNW) is a financial news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via NetworkWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to nearly 2 million followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with NNW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, NNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, NNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. NNW is where news, content and information converge. For more information, please visit https://www.NetworkNewsWire.com.

 

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Exponential Increase in EVs Drives New Cobalt Supply Chains

New York, NY – October 10, 2018Supply anxieties and ethical concerns are clouding the otherwise seemingly sunny drive to automobile electrification. The world is already awash in mobile devices and is rapidly moving to enhanced electrical grids and electric vehicle (EV) ubiquity. However, the indispensable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery — vital for gadgets, grid storage and electric propulsion — also requires cobalt to retain and discharge electricity. Lithium is plentiful and easily mined; cobalt is the conundrum that has manufacturers of battery-dependent products most worried.

 

  • EV sales projected to explode to 30 million units by 2030.
  • Cobalt — critical for Li-ion batteries — is nearly single-sourced and ethically challenged.
  • New North American supply chains look to provide solutions

 

Most of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC has an unstable and historically corrupt government and an exceptionally poor human rights record; additionally, much of the country’s cobalt is mined by hand, often by children. Economically precarious, cobalt is virtually single-sourced. Currently about two-thirds of the world supply and half of all global reserves come from the DRC. Moreover, two years after Amnesty International’s scathing expose that showed exploited children mining cobalt, child labor is still being used to procure the mineral at so-called artisanal mines. No other comparable commodity is so dominated by a single source, creating enormous potential risk for EV makers. The troubling aggregate of political corruption, supply uncertainty, operational complexity and ethical opacity has delivered a clarion call to EV makers and spurred a global quest for secure and humanely sourced cobalt resources. At the vanguard of this search is First Cobalt Corp. (TSX-V:FCC) (OTC:FTSSF) (FTSSF Profile), a vertically integrated pure-play cobalt company with significant North American assets. Leveraging company assets and expertise in conjunction with the savvy of a legendary EV pioneer, First Cobalt is determined to be North America’s premier source of cobalt delivered to global electric automakers like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), B.M.W. AG ADR (OTC:BMWYY), Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY) and Mercedes maker Daimler AG (OTC:DDAIF) (XE:DAI).

 

To view an infographic of this editorial, click here.

 

Eye-popping Expectations

 

Global electric vehicle sales are projected to grow at a staggering CAGR of 32.57 percent over the next seven years. Forecasts from Bloomberg NEF show sales of electric vehicles increasing even faster after that. From a record 1.1 million sales worldwide in 2017, sales are projected to reach 11 million in 2025 then skyrocket to 30 million in 2030 as the vehicles become cheaper to make than internal combustion engine cars. It’s difficult to fathom a 10-fold increase in electric vehicles in seven years and even harder to comprehend a 30-fold increase in 12 years, but somewhere between the current market and a 30-fold increase is one heck of an opportunity.

 

Conflict and Conundrum-free Cobalt

 

The DRC’s artisanal mining volume was reduced when battery makers and users came under public pressure to fully vet supply chains, but unabated global demand pushed cobalt prices to new highs, and backyard mine production rebounded. Even with intense scrutiny and vetting, it’s nearly impossible for battery makers to ascertain cobalt sources. More than half of the global supply of refined cobalt chemicals used in Li-ion batteries comes from China, which in turn gets 90 percent of its cobalt from DRC.

 

There’s an ever-rising chorus from EV makers clamoring for secure, ethically sourced cobalt. As part of a collective response to these concerns, First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQB: FTSSF) adopted the Responsible Cobalt Initiative in 2017 and is intent on building — from raw product to refined chemicals — a North American-based, vertically integrated cobalt company.

 

First Cobalt owns three substantial North American assets. The company’s flagship asset is the Iron Creek Cobalt Project in Idaho, which has an inferred mineral resource estimate of 29.6 million tons grading 0.11 percent cobalt equivalent. First Cobalt also controls a prodigious land package composed of 50 past-producing mines in the Canadian Cobalt Camp and, importantly, the company owns the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery-grade materials.

 

The validation and value of assets are likely bolstered by the recent appointment of automotive icon, Henrik Fisker, to the First Cobalt’s Board of Directors. Fisker, a legendary designer and entrepreneur renowned for making dreams reality, brings a wealth of knowledge, innovation and real-world experience to First Cobalt’s board. Henrik’s vision is behind some of the most emotionally appealing vehicles ever created, including the BMW Z8, the Aston Martin DB9/V8 Vantage, VLF Force 1 to the Fisker Karma and more. Fisker is the founder, chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc., an American automaker revolutionizing the development of EVs with innovative battery solutions.

 

“Electric vehicle automakers and battery manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure any materials we use in our batteries are sourced in an ethical way,” Fisker stated in the news release announcing his appointment. “I have made a commitment to contribute to a better world all the way down the supply chain. We must stop looking at innovation superficially and start taking responsibility for our products end to end and give our customers the true choice to be part of a sustainable future

 

“During this last few weeks, I have spent considerable time with the First Cobalt team, seeing their cobalt project, Iron Creek, in Idaho as well as the First Cobalt Refinery in Ontario,” he continued. “I was extremely impressed with the depth and extent of commitment from the entire First Cobalt team to the safety and training of all employees, ethical mining practices and the focus on environmental protection around their projects.”

 

First Cobalt President and CEO Trent Mell praised Fisker’s experience and potential for advancing future developments.

 

“First Cobalt’s strategy is to explore, mine and refine cobalt material in North America with the goal of providing cobalt to the American EV market,” Mell stated. “Henrik’s knowledge of the EV space and experience as a successful OEM automotive manufacturer will play a key role as First Cobalt continues to execute on this strategy. The vision and energy that Henrik has demonstrated throughout his career will be an important asset as the Company continues to develop its projects in North America.”

 

Throughout his career in the automotive sector, Fisker has become synonymous with iconic cars and groundbreaking leadership in premium electric vehicle development. His vision and innovation are behind some of the most emotionally appealing vehicles ever created, and now he’s sharing that vast expertise with First Cobalt in the development of a unique North American cobalt supply chain.

 

Validating Historic Estimates

 

To substantiate assets and solidify objectives, First Cobalt recently announced a mineral resource estimate of 29.6 million tons of 0.11% cobalt equivalent at the Iron Creek Project. Unlike almost all other cobalt mines, First Cobalt’s Iron Creek Project is primarily a cobalt deposit with copper as the byproduct.

 

“The initial resource estimate and the pace of progress at Iron Creek have exceeded our expectations,” Mell stated. “We have delineated a sizeable primary cobalt deposit on patented property, and mineralization continues to expand to the east, west and at depth. The mineralogy is simple, and initial metallurgical test work is very encouraging with high metal recoveries. Cobalt is associated with pyrite rather than minerals containing arsenic, which may offer processing and offtake advantages.”

 

Mell also stated, “This initial Inferred Resource estimate is an important step forward to a potential source of ethical cobalt in America. Drilling is now underway to test the mineralization strike length from 450 meters to over 900 meters, while also systematically testing depth extensions to over 300 meters to support an updated resource estimate in early 2019.”

 

The Iron Creek property consists of mining patents and exploration claims covering almost 1,700 acres with significant infrastructure in place to support multiple drills and underground activity. With a strong balance sheet, First Cobalt is fully funded to complete the 2018 exploration programs and plans to be at the forefront of the cobalt-driven battery revolution.

 

The Insight

 

If there are any doubts about an EV explosion, look at any major auto manufacturer — every single one is rapidly expanding product lines and production of electric vehicles. Electric mobility is still in its infancy, but even with challenges and speed bumps ahead, it won’t end any time soon. Well-positioned portfolios in strategic critical components of EVs could easily excel and outperform well into the next decade.

 

EV Makers

 

Automotive icon Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) designs, manufactures, markets and services a global line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles. Ford has already invested $11 billion to bring 16 fully electric vehicles into a global portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles by 2022 and is aggressively pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford’s Team Edison focuses exclusively on development of electrified vehicles for both Ford and Lincoln.

 

B.M.W. A.G. ADR (OTC:BMWYY) is among the world’s leading manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles and plans to offer 25 electrified vehicles — 12 fully electric by 2025. BMW has established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain and a commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. BMW is trying to secure a 10-year supply of cobalt — all the way down to the level of the mine — for EV batteries.

 

Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY), one of the world’s biggest automakers, has one of the industry’s most ambitious targets for battery car sales. Volkswagen outlined its strategy to electrify all segments of its vehicle lineup across the globe and to become a worldwide industry leader in e-mobility by 2018. Volkswagen is actively seeking long-term cobalt supplies.

 

Daimler AG (OTC:DDAIF) (XE:DAI) engages in the production and distribution of cars, trucks and vans. The company’s flagship brand, Mercedes-Benz, announced a full line of electric cars called the Mercedes EQ, set to market in 2020. Daimler has vowed to ethically source battery materials for electric cars and recently joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, which seeks to find ethical ways to source the material.

 

For more information about First Cobalt Corp, please visit First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V:FCC) (OTCQB:FTSSF).

 

About NetworkNewsWire

NetworkNewsWire (NNW) is a financial news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via NetworkWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to nearly 2 million followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with NNW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, NNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, NNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. NNW is where news, content and information converge. For more information, please visit https://www.NetworkNewsWire.com.

 

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the NetworkNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by NNW, wherever published or re-published: http://NNW.fm/Disclaimer

 

DISCLAIMER: NetworkNewsWire (NNW) is the source of the Article and content set forth above. References to any issuer other than the profiled issuer are intended solely to identify industry participants and do not constitute an endorsement of any issuer and do not constitute a comparison to the profiled issuer. FN Media Group (FNM) is a third-party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated with NNW or any company mentioned herein. The commentary, views and opinions expressed in this release by NNW are solely those of NNW and are not shared by and do not reflect in any manner the views or opinions of FNM. Readers of this Article and content agree that they cannot and will not seek to hold liable NNW and FNM for any investment decisions by their readers or subscribers. NNW and FNM and their respective affiliated companies are a news dissemination and financial marketing solutions provider and are NOT registered broker-dealers/analysts/investment advisers, hold no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security.

 

The Article and content related to the profiled company represent the personal and subjective views of the Author, and are subject to change at any time without notice. The information provided in the Article and the content has been obtained from sources which the Author believes to be reliable. However, the Author has not independently verified or otherwise investigated all such information. None of the Author, NNW, FNM, or any of their respective affiliates, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any such information. This Article and content are not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular security or course of action; readers are strongly urged to speak with their own investment advisor and review all of the profiled issuer’s filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission before making any investment decisions and should understand the risks associated with an investment in the profiled issuer’s securities, including, but not limited to, the complete loss of your investment.

 

NNW & FNM HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE.

 

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. “Forward-looking statements” describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company’s annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements.  The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and NNW and FNM undertake no obligation to update such statements.

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Over the past 10+ years we have consistently introduced new network brands, each specifically designed to fulfil the unique needs of our growing client base and services. Today, we continue to expand our branded network of highly influential properties, leveraging the knowledge and energy of specialized teams of experts to serve our increasingly diversified list of clients.

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First Cobalt Intersects High Grade Mineralization at Iron Creek

TORONTOOct. 4, 2018  – First Cobalt Corp. (TSX-V: FCC; ASX: FCC; OTCQX: FTSSF) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce drill results from its Iron Creek Cobalt Project in Idaho, USA. Results reported today highlight a high grade zone at the western extent of the current Inferred Resource, which remains open along strike and at depth.

 

Highlights

 

  • Drilling confirms cobalt and copper metal zonation, including higher grade copper and cobalt zones
  • High grade copper (Cu) intercepts include 10.0m of 4.04% Cu and 8.0m of 3.16% Cu, including 1.4m of 6.56% Cu and 20.5 g/t Ag; cobalt (Co) intercepts include 1.04% Co over 1.5m and 0.51% Co over 4.1m
  • Cobalt remains the dominant resource metal with higher grade cobalt zones towards the eastern extent of known mineralization and copper-rich zones to the west
  • Higher grade copper and cobalt zones within broader zones of mineralization provide optionality for development
  • Third drill rig expected on site in October and Company will undertake a bore-hole geophysical survey to potentially identify extensions of known mineralization as well as new targets

 

Trent Mell, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented:

 

“High grade cobalt and copper zones within wider mineralized zones, such as those reported here, expand our options for development as we look to the future of this project. As work advances, I am repeatedly impressed by the increasing potential of this resource and look forward to updating our mineral resource estimate in early 2019 with results from the ongoing program.”

 

Underground drilling from the western extent of Adit#2 targeting the No Name Zone has outlined a discrete higher grade copper zone within broader zones of mineralization. The broader zones are outlined in the Inferred Resource estimate reported September 26, 2018. These high grade intersections characterize distinct cobalt and copper mineralized zones, which have been observed to overlap in some areas (Table 1, Figure 3).

 

Table 1. Assay Results

Hole ID

From

(m)

To

(m)

Drilled

Length

(m)

True

Width

(ft)

True

With

(m)

Cobalt

%

Copper %

CoEq

%

IC18-18A

0.0

7.3

7.3

4.1

1.2

0.62

0.02

0.62

IC18-18A

97.0

104.8

7.8

7.9

2.4

0.23

3.69

0.60

including

101.5

104.8

3.3

3.3

1.0

0.43

8.00

1.23

IC18-18A

192.9

219.8

26.9

26.2

8.0

0.01

3.16

0.33

including

205.4

210.0

4.6

4.6

1.4

0.01

6.56

0.67

IC18-19

0.0

7.9

7.9

13.4

4.1

0.51

0.04

0.51

IC18-19

20.4

27.0

6.6

13.4

4.1

0.02

2.42

0.26

IC18-19

45.4

64.6

19.2

32.9

10.0

0.01

4.04

0.42

IC18-20

0.0

5.8

5.8

10.2

3.1

0.39

0.03

0.40

IC18-20

40.7

47.8

7.1

13.0

4.0

0.01

2.87

0.30

IC18-21

0.0

1.5

1.5

4.9

1.5

1.04

0.40

1.08

IC18-21

18.0

22.6

4.6

14.8

4.5

0.01

4.85

0.50

IC18-22

0.0

2.1

2.1

6.0

1.8

0.62

0.75

0.69

IC18-22

5.2

6.7

1.5

4.3

1.3

0.11

1.53

0.27

IC18-22

18.6

29.7

11.2

31.3

9.5

0.03

2.31

0.26

IC18-23

0.0

11.3

11.3

14.9

4.6

0.26

0.95

0.36

IC18-23

42.1

56.8

14.8

22.6

6.9

0.05

1.45

0.20

 

Results reported above, other than drill holes IC18-21 and -22, were included in the Inferred Resource estimate reported September 26, 2018. Cobalt equivalent is calculated as %CoEq = %Co + (%Cu/10) based on US$30/lb Co and US$3/lb Cu. No metallurgical recoveries were applied to either metal as it is expected that the metallurgical recoveries will be similar for both metals. Flotation tests support the Company’s opinion that both cobalt and copper are of sufficient grade to be recovered. True thickness estimated from 3D geological model also considering drill holes on strike.

 

Intersections in each hole characterize a cobalt-rich to copper-rich transition with copper grades higher than those previously reported. These results are specifically encouraging to advance drilling along the western strike extent ahead of infill drilling in the central portion of the resource near Adit#1.

 

Throughout the Iron Creek mineralized zones, copper grade strongly correlates with silver. High grade copper samples, those greater than 4%, were found to contain silver greater than 10 g/t. High grade copper intercepts reported here from hole IC18-18A include 8.00% Cu and 19.4 g/t Ag over 1.0m true width within 2.4m of 3.69% Cu and 6.56% Cu and 20.5 g/t Ag over 1.4m true width within 8.0m of 3.16% Cu.

 

Previous drilling at the western extension was primarily from surface. Underground access provides a better vantage point for testing the western strike extent and the vertical extent of both the No Name and Waite mineralized zones. Intersections from horizontal drill holes are at appropriate angles to determine true widths of mineralization.

 

The higher grade copper mineralization can be correlated between holes along strike and down-dip (Figure 2). Drill hole IC18-18A intersects the No Name Zone 50m further west from the other five holes reported here, indicating the higher-grade copper mineralization associated with cobalt extends along strike. Holes previously drilled southward from the same station in the Waite Zone showed cobalt-copper mineralization extends along strike at this horizon (see press release dated July 19, 2018). Mineralization was also intersected below this horizon that may reflect a thickening of this zone or represents another zone in the stratigraphic footwall.

 

Copper mineralization typically occurs with cobalt in both the No Name and Waite Zones, but these six holes have intersected copper as semi-massive chalcopyrite lenses, each up to 0.5m drilling widths. The copper-rich lenses are concentrated toward the upper portion of the No Name Zone. Associated higher grade cobalt mineralization is prevalent in the lower portion of the No Name Zone. Higher grade copper also occurs in the western portion of the Waite Zone, but is currently encountered by only a few drill holes.

 

Disseminated pyrite is also present with chalcopyrite and results show it is also generally cobalt-bearing as found throughout the Iron Creek resource. This transition has been previously noted in prior drill hole assays and in sampling from Adit#1, but the metal zoning is enhanced in this western portion. Further drilling from surface is planned in this area to continue testing the western strike extent.

 

Assay data was modelled from 62 drill holes (excluding holes IC18-21 and -22) outlining the continuity of cobalt mineralization across the strike length of the drilled area (Figure 3). Higher grade copper mineralization had been previously recognized around Adit#1, but a larger zone has now been identified (shown in red, Figure 3) at the western extent of Iron Creek. Higher grade cobalt is prominent in the eastern extent of the drilled area (shown in blue, Figure 3) suggesting a metal zonation. This zonation is commonly seen in other hydrothermal deposits containing cobalt and copper and may be predictable, therefore it may be a useful exploration guide for further drill targeting.

 

Preliminary floatation tests have indicated a separate copper concentrate could potentially be produced so copper-rich mineralization could be processed separately to ensure high quality source feed. Today’s results show a sizeable strike extent of higher-grade copper that warrants specific attention for future mine development planning.

 

Next Steps

 

Drilling is ongoing to extend the strike length of the mineralized zone from 450 metres to over 1,000 metres and test down dip extensions of known cobalt-copper zones from 150 metres to over 300 metres below surface.

 

A bore-hole geophysical survey will also start later this month intended to identify extensions of known mineralization to define new drilling targets. The survey will also characterize magnetic and electro-magnetic properties of mineralization to be used in future airborne and ground surveys in 2019.

 

Iron Creek Property

 

First Cobalt announced on September 26, 2018 an Inferred Resource estimate at Iron Creek of 26.9 million tonnes grading 0.11% cobalt equivalent (0.08% Co and 0.30% Cu containing 46.2 million pounds of cobalt and 176.2 million pounds of copper) under a base case scenario pit constrained and deeper mineral resource. An alternative underground-only scenario results in 4.4 million tonnes grading 0.23% Co and 0.68% Cu (0.30% CoEq) using a cutoff underground grade of 0.18% CoEq and containing 22.3 million pounds of cobalt and 66.7 million pounds of copper. The Inferred Resource is based on drilling over a strike length of approximately 500 metres and a dip extent of over 150 metres.

 

The Iron Creek property consists of patented mining claims surrounded by unpatented mining claims covering an area of 1,698 acres. Significant infrastructure is in place to support multiple drills and underground activity. Historic underground development includes 600 metres of drifting in three adits and an all-weather road connecting the project to a state highway.

 

Cobalt-copper mineralization occurs largely within two distinct east-west trending zones. The No Name and Waite Zones are roughly parallel and dip roughly 75° to the north, remaining open at depth and open along the east and west strike extensions. The No Name Zone and the Waite Zone have true widths between 10m and 30m. Mineralization also occurs between the No Name and Waite Zones as 1m to 5m pods.

 

Preliminary metallurgical testing concludes that simple flotation methods are applicable, yielding recoveries of 96% for cobalt and 95% for copper in rougher floatation.

 

Cobalt-copper mineralization occurs as semi-massive and disseminated pyrite and chalcopyrite along stratabound bands within finely layered meta-sedimentary rocks consisting of interbedded argillite and quartzite. Thin veins of sulfide minerals also cut the bands and meta-sedimentary rocks. Quartzite units make up the hangingwall and footwall to the mineralized meta-sedimentary horizon. This stratigraphic sequence has been mapped at surface and by drilling to extend along strike for at least two kilometres.

 

The principal mineral assemblage consists of pyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, and magnetite with much lesser quantities of native copper and arsenopyrite locally. Scanning-electron and microprobe tests indicate the cobalt occurs largely or entirely within pyrite and there is a distinct lack of cobaltite, a common cobalt ore mineral containing arsenic. Drill results demonstrate that the cobalt and copper mineralization are in part separated from each other spatially, and in part overlapping.

 

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

 

First Cobalt has implemented a quality control program to comply with industry best practices for sampling, chain of custody and analyses. Blanks, duplicates and standards are inserted at the core processing site as part of the QA/QC program. Samples are prepared and analyzed by American Assay Laboratories (AAL) in Sparks, Nevada. Over 15% of the samples analyzed are control samples consisting of checks, blanks, and duplicates inserted by the Company; in addition to the control samples inserted by the lab. Drill core samples are dried, weighed crushed to 85 % passing -6 mesh, roll crushed to 85% passing -10 mesh, split 250 gram pulps, then pulverized in a closed bowl ring pulverizer to 95 % passing -150 mesh, then analyzed by a 5 acid digestion for ICP analysis. All samples have passed QA/QC protocols.

 

Qualified and Competent Person Statement

 

Dr. Frank Santaguida, P.Geo., is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 who has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release. Dr. Santaguida is also a Competent Person (as defined in the JORC Code, 2012 edition) who is a practicing member of the Association of Professional Geologists of Ontario (being a ‘Recognised Professional Organisation’ for the purposes of the ASX Listing Rules). Dr. Santaguida is employed on a full-time basis as Vice President, Exploration for First Cobalt. He has sufficient experience that is relevant to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code.

 

About First Cobalt

First Cobalt is a vertically integrated North American pure-play cobalt company. First Cobalt has three significant North American assets: the Iron Creek Project in Idaho, with Inferred mineral resources of 26.9 million tonnes grading 0.11% cobalt equivalent; the Canadian Cobalt Camp exploration project and the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials.

 

On behalf of First Cobalt Corp.

Trent Mell
President & Chief Executive Officer

 

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

 

Cautionary Note Regarding Estimates of Resources

Readers are cautioned that mineral resources are not economic mineral reserves and that the economic viability of resources that are not mineral reserves has not been demonstrated. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by geology, environmental, permitting, legal, title, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issues. The mineral resource estimate is classified in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s “2014 CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves” incorporated by reference into NI 43-101. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies or economic studies except for Preliminary Economic Assessment as defined under NI 43-101. Readers are cautioned not to assume that further work on the stated resources will lead to mineral reserves that can be mined economically. An Inferred Mineral Resource as defined by the CIM Standing Committee is “that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade or quality continuity. An Inferred Mineral Resource has a lower level of confidence than that applying to an Indicated Mineral Resource and must not be converted to a Mineral Reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration.”

 

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (together, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws and the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as “plans”, “expects’, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes” or variations of such words, or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance and opportunities to differ materially from those implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements are set forth in the management discussion and analysis and other disclosures of risk factors for First Cobalt, filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although First Cobalt believes that the information and assumptions used in preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed times frames or at all. Except where required by applicable law, First Cobalt disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE First Cobalt Corp.

About First Cobalt

Why First Cobalt

 

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:

 

  1. The Iron Creek Project in Idaho, which has a historic mineral resource estimate (non-compliant with NI 43-101) and a compliant maiden resource estimate expected by October 2018
  2. The only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials
  3. The Greater Cobalt Project in the Canadian Cobalt Camp, with more than 50 past producing mines.

 

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.

 

Why Invest in Cobalt

 

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.[1]

 

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.

 

THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE REVOLUTION IS POWERED BY COBALT. FIRST COBALT OFFERS INVESTORS A VERTICALLY INTEGRATED NORTH AMERICAN COBALT COMPANY.  OUR STRATEGY IS TO EXPLORE, DEVELOP AND REFINE COBALT MATERIAL IN NORTH AMERICA FOR SALE BACK INTO THE AMERICAN EV MARKET.

 

PROJECTS

 

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:

 

  1. the Iron Creek Project in Idaho, which has a historic mineral resource estimate (non-compliant with NI 43-101);
  2. the Greater Cobalt Project in the Canadian Cobalt Camp, with more than 50 past producing mines;
  3. and the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials.

 

 

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.

 

Powering the Economy of the Future

 

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.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.firstcobalt.com/

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