- New restrictive tax regime in DRC makes North American cobalt more attractive
- Efforts to secure supplies turns attention to cobalt juniors
- First Cobalt is now the world’s largest pure play cobalt explorer
With production of electric vehicles (EVs) set to increase, “at least 90,000 tonnes of additional cobalt will be needed by 2025 to meet demand”, according to a May research note from the Swiss bank, UBS (http://nnw.fm/0ZRpj). The bank’s brokerage arm expects global market penetration of EVs to rise to 16 percent by then, from its current one percent, sparking fears of a cobalt shortage as early as 2022. Naturally, this has created a degree of anxiety in the battery manufacturing community, which was very evident at the recent Cobalt Institute Conference in Las Vegas. This dynamic is driving “lots of discussion,” says Peter Campbell, vice president of business development at First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQX: FTSSF). The pure play cobalt explorer is currently expanding its portfolio of properties with an ongoing series of mergers that includes CobalTech Mining Inc., Cobalt One and, most recently, US Cobalt Inc. The final entity will carry the name First Cobalt and should have a market cap of around C$400 million ($311 million) (http://nnw.fm/g7bNe).
At present, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the world’s top producer of cobalt. The central African country produces about 60 percent of global cobalt supply, a leading position that it may retain for at least a decade. However, challenges to that dominance are…
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