I’ve been reading bits of articles lately about a coming shortage of cobalt. Now I don’t really know a whole lot about cobalt other than it’s mined so I decided to to do a bit of investigating. There are a few things that I found out about doing some quick research and one is that cobalt mining shouldn’t be protested about by enviromentalists. Another important issue that I’ve discovered is that the price of cobalt has been going up steady. In fact while most metals have been floundering for the past several years, cobalt has risen steady and for almost six months now the price has not seen any kind of decrease. Prices today are right around $60,000 USD per tonne and there is little sign that prices will retreat.
Pretty much the bulk of cobalt that is used in the world today comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. They produce about 60,000 metric tons a year on average. This is followed by China with about 7700 MT and then Canada which produces about 7300 MT. For the longest time the world produced a sufficient amount of cobalt to keep the needs of all the industries that used it but in the last few years the demand for cobalt has increased exponentially.
Cobalt is known as a supper alloy and is used in manufacturing things like jet engines components, and other high wear moving parts. As it is added to different steels and alloys to allow for extra strengthing it is used in almost every industry possible. Aside from industrial uses cobalt is also used in the medical fields as there is a very important radioactive isotope that is used in medicine. It’s not too radioactive and doesn’t hurt the patient, but it can be used as a tracer element to find things like cancer. Almost everything made today that has a super alloy involved will have some percentage of cobalt.
So what has happened in the last year or so that has created such a drastic increase in the price of cobalt? The number one reason is the electric car. Cars like Tesla that use high grade lithium batteries also use a lot of cobalt. Infact there is more cobalt in a lithium battery than there is lithium and with all the millions of devices that are being bought up everyday, so goes the increase in good ole cobalt. Here’s where you can thank the ole tree huggers and greenies.
Now the big question is how do you as an individual profit from this? Unless your into buying and selling bulk loads of cobalt, the next best thing is to either find a cobalt miner or a cobalt junior explorer and juniors explorers are where it going to be for the next while. Finding the next big deposit to sell to some big miner. Of course once any commodity gets hot and in demand, so to does the amount of juniors who start to focus on that commodity and cobalt is no different. Some of the companies that are exploring for cobalt are Cruz Cobalt CUZ, Fortune Minerals FT, Cobalt Power CPO, and Clean Energy CLE. All of these players are on the hunt for cobalt.
Cruz Cobalt has nine cobalt projects located throughout North America, comprising four in Ontario, three in British Columbia, one in Idaho and one in Montana. Cruz’s four separate Ontario cobalt prospects are all located in the vicinity of the town of Cobalt, making Cruz one of the largest landholders in this emerging cobalt district.
Fortune Minerals is focused on developing the Nico cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper project in the NWT and a related refinery the company plans to construct in Saskatchewan.
Clean Commodities has the Juliet lithium project, located adjacent to Critical Element Corp.’s Rose lithium project in Quebec, Canada which of course is in a cobalt area.
Cobalt Power has about 21,000 acres of properties. It’s main project is the Smith Cobalt project along the Ontario Quebec border. Also the company just started a second drilling campaign on september 13 0217 and will comprise a minimum of 2,000 metres 10 to 15 drill holes. Something to look forward too.
Of course there are other companies that are out on the hunt for cobalt but hopefully this small group will give you a start for doing any kind of due diligence and also put some of these juniors on your watch list.
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