Cobalt Market Fundamentals Improve as Prices Continue to Ral...| MENAFN.COM

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Cobalt Market Fundamentals Improve as Prices Continue to Rally


(MENAFNEditorial) PALM BEACH, Florida, January 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary

The global cobalt market has enjoyed considerable growth dating back to last January, 2017 as the demand for lithium-ion batteries has continued to steadily trend upward due to the rising popularity of electric vehicles and smartphones. Recent estimates project the lithium-ion battery market to swell past $60 billion globally by 2024. As of January 22, the cobalt spot price was US$36.29, rising again strongly from US$34.02 this time last month. In the past two months cobalt has rallied from $US27.67, or up 31%. With limited inventory, demand has influenced aggressive market conditions that are allowing new countries to enter the mining landscape and enhance the competition in the process. Headlines in the sector this week include leaders in the space securing resources to expand operations and increase production, as well as develop innovative processes to meet the unprecedented demand. Today's active miners with current developments in the market include:LiCo Energy Metals Inc. (OTC: WCTXF) (TSX-V: LIC), Sherritt International Corporation (OTC: SHERF) (TSX: S.TO), Quantum Cobalt Corp. (CSE: QBOT), US Cobalt Inc. (OTCQB: USCFF) (TSX-V: USCO), Cruz Cobalt Corp. (OTC: BKTPF) (TSX-V: CUZ).

LiCo Energy Metals Inc. (OTCQB: WCTXF) (TSX-V: LIC.V) is pleased to the update its shareholders on the completion on the Glencore Bucke Property Phase 1 diamond drilling program. During the fall of 2017, LiCo completed 21 diamond drill holes totaling 1,900 m. This drill program, along with the Phase 1 diamond drilling program completed on the Teledyne Cobalt Property, satisfied LiCo's flow-through financing obligations. The exploration program at the Glencore Bucke Property also satisfied our contractual obligations to Glencore plc. whereby LiCo was to incur $250,000 of exploration expenditures on the Property within six months of the approval date (see News Release dated September 5th, 2017).

In 1981, Teledyne Canada Ltd., completed 36 surface diamond drill holes totaling 3,323 m. The drill program outlined two separate vein systems hosting significant cobalt and silver values, known as the Main Zone, measuring 152.4 m in length, and the Northwest Zone, measuring 70.0 m in length (Bresee, 1982).

LiCo's Phase 1 diamond drill program was designed to confirm and extend the existing known mineralization along strike and up and down dip, and LiCo was successful in completing this objective. The program tested the Main Zone for a strike length of approximately 55 m and the Northwest Zone for a strike length of approximately 45 m. Due to the nature of the mineralization, drill holes were closely spaced apart, generally at 10 m along sections, and 12.5 m between sections on average. Significant cobalt intersections include diamond drill hole GB17-10 that intersected 0.55% Co over 5.00 m from 28.00 to 33.00 m, and diamond drill hole GB17-15 that intersected 8.42% Co over 0.30 m from 62.40 to 62.70 m. Significant copper mineralization was also intersected, such as 0.90% Cu over 20.20 m from 42.50 to 62.70 m in diamond drill hole GB17-15, and 1.25% Cu over 6.10 m from 67.50 to 73.60 m in diamond drill hole GB17-21. The aforementioned intervals represent core lengths, and not true widths.

"We are very pleased with the results of the Glencore Bucke Phase 1 drill program," commented Tim Fernback, LiCo President and CEO. "We not only were successful in completing the objective of the drill program but also with the overall grade, width and consistency of the mineralization. We are working on the design and amount of metres to be drilled of the Phase 2 drill program which will then be the basis of completing a 43-101 compliant resource estimation, which will be completed in conjunction with the Teledyne Cobalt Project".A summary of the most significant results from the Phase 1 diamond drilling program are provided in Table 1, while drill hole collar information is provided in Table 2 that can be seen at:

In other mining industry news and developments:

Sherritt International Corporation (OTC: SHERF) (TSX: S.TO) recently announced it closed its previously announced unit offering including the full exercise of an over-allotment option granted to its agents. A total of 94,464,400 units (the "Units") of the Company were sold at a price of $1.40 per Unit for gross proceeds of approximately $132 million. Each Unit consists of one Sherritt common share (a "Common Share") and one-half of one common share purchase warrant linked to the price of cobalt (each full warrant, a "Cobalt-Linked Warrant"). Sherritt is a world leader in the mining and refining of nickel and cobalt from lateritic ores with projects and operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar. The corporation is the largest independent energy producer in Cuba, with extensive oil and power operations across the island.

Quantum Cobalt Corp. (CSE: QBOT.CN) has planned a drilling program (subject to permitting) to determine the size of a dump pile of material that was excavated during historic underground development work at the Nipissing Lorrain cobalt-silver-nickel mine property located 26 kilometres southeast of Cobalt, Ont. The company intends to use this information to prepare a mineral resource estimate (per Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum definitions) and file a technical report on SEDAR. Following a successful sampling program over the historic waste pile in late 2017, Quantum has completed planning and budgeting of a tightly spaced grid of reverse circulation drill holes to collect representative samples and dimensions of the pile. The company intends to begin permitting immediately and return to site as soon as weather conditions and permitting allow to carry out the systematic definition of the pile.

US Cobalt Inc. (OTCQB: USCFF) (TSX-V: USCO.V) recently announced analytical results from a further three surface core holes drilled during 2017 at the Iron Creek project (the "Property") in Idaho, USA. All three core holes encountered sulfide mineralization with significant cobalt values. These results confirm that cobalt mineralization exists outside of the historical estimate at Iron Creek. The historical estimates are comprised of two zones with a gap between them, along strike, of approximately 400 feet (122 meters). Hole IC17-19 (see Company news release - January 15, 2018) is located in the eastern portion of this area, and intersected a true thickness of 19.1 feet (5.8 meters) grading 0.46% CoEq (0.43%Co+0.30%Cu). The current three holes lie west of IC17-19, and cover approximately 330 feet (100 meters) of strike in the area between the two historical estimate zones. These three holes, along with IC17-19, strongly suggest continuity of mineralization between the two areas of the historical estimates.

Cruz Cobalt Corp. (OTC: BKTPF) (TSX-V: CUZ.V) earlier this week announced it continues to build on its position as the foremost cobalt project generator and developer in North America with further increases in its land positions in British Columbia. The company significantly increased the acreage on its 100% owned Purcell cobalt prospects from 671 acres to 11,821 acres, consolidating the two separate Purcell prospects into one much larger contiguous prospect. This follows the recent tripling in size of its War Eagle cobalt prospects from 4,935 acres to 15,219 acres. The company recently engaged Precision GeoSurveys to conduct an airborne work program on these BC cobalt properties.

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