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Excerpt from April 8, 2020 BMO Metals Brief:With large contraction expected in auto sales this year (-12% y/y), and lowered consensus mid-term auto sales forecasts , we slightly lower our EV sales estimates through 2023E, leading to lower lithium and cobalt demand estimates, though nickel is largely unaffected. Despite auto's challenges, we see EV relatively more insulated as European EV demand has been surging and we anticipate the Chinese government continuing to put in the groundwork to support multi-year EV targets, as such we still see 20% y/y global EVs sales growth. We model European plug-in penetration rates at 6.2%, China at 5% and the U.S. at just over 2%, giving a global rate of 3.3%, up from 2.4% last year.

 

 
Cobalt
 
Metal Bulletin - April 9, 2020
The spread of the Covid-19 virus is forcing shutdowns and a reassessment of consumers’ cobalt requirements. Prices of cobalt - metal,...
is forcing shutdowns and a reassessment of consumers’ cobalt requirements. Prices of cobalt - metal,...

Prices of cobalt - metal, intermediates and salts - have so far taken a hit amid concerns of a general, global economic slowdown caused by the virus; a slower uptake in electric vehicle usage; and disrupted demand from the aerospace sector. But lockdowns aimed at limiting the spread of the virus are also forcing disruptions on the supply side. And, with the number of confirmed cases starting to increase in Africa, government directives there have raised concerns over crucial export routes for shipping material to China, including border queues and adding to existing bottlenecks at ports. In the map below, Fastmarkets summarizes the various supply disruptions and demand readjustments materializing out of the coronavirus pandemic.

 
Metal Bulletin - April 8, 2020
Spot cobalt hydroxide deals are being concluded on a fixed-price basis while buyers and sellers seek to shield themselves from market...
coming weeks and months. About 65% of the world’s cobalt supply is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), much...

Spot cobalt hydroxide deals are being concluded on a fixed-price basis while buyers and sellers seek to shield themselves from market volatility expected to come from measures taken to curb the global spread of the coronavirus…Spot hydroxide sales were reported to Fastmarkets last week at $10.40 per lb - about 65% of the metal price taking the low-end of that day's assessment for cobalt standard grade, in-whs Rotterdam at $16 per lb on Monday March 30…Government efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus have already suspended cobalt metal production at CTT in Morocco and Ambatovy in Madagascar. The supply disruptions that the intermediates market faces should also filter through to the metal market down the line, and may limit further pressure on metal prices, sources said…Alternatively, metal consumption has taken a hit from plant closures, with market participants expecting the virus-led slowdown in the global economy to hit demand from the aerospace and battery sectors. 

 
Toronto Sun - April 7, 2020
world leader in the mining and refining of nickel and cobalt from lateritic ores, today published the Applicable...

Applicable Reference Cobalt Price based on the simple average of the midpoint of the Fastmarkets MB (formerly known as Metal Bulletin) High Price and the Fastmarkets MB Low Price1, expressed in US dollars per pound, for the three consecutive full calendar months immediately preceding each monthly Conversion Ratio Reset Date….Reference Date: March 31, 2020…Price US$16.68

 
Bloomberg - April 7, 2020

From oil to copper to coal, China’s gigantic commodities industry is signaling that the first economy to be flattened by the coronavirus is getting closer to a return to normality. Bloomberg Economics estimates that most of China was 90% to 95% back to work at the end of last week, noting pick-ups in the steel market, construction activity and crude processing. Those oil refineries, as well as coal-fired power plants, are nearing last year’s operating rates, while metals stockpiles have shrunk from record or near-record levels. It’s a three-month cycle of collapse and recovery marked by perhaps the most heartening milestone for those nations still fending off the worst of the virus: China has now reported zero new Covid-19 deaths for the first time since January…China’s drivers have returned to the roads in greater numbers than this time last year as social distancing encourages more people to use their own cars instead of public transportation, according to BloombergNEF…An exception is that drivers appear to be avoiding non-essential journeys. That’s evidenced by TomTom Traffic Index congestion data, which show a precipitous drop outside rush hour, and by highway traffic during this past weekend’s tomb-sweeping holiday.

 
Unknown - April 7, 2020
Our modern world is dependent upon natural resources extracted from the ground, but there could be another source of rare and valuable metals by giving our houses a spring clean.

Around the world there are millions, if not billions, of unused electronic devices in our homes…Each of these contains copper, silver and even gold, along…As recycling becomes more “efficient and less expensive and consumers become better informed about correct disposal”… so “urban mining becomes a progressively more viable option”…Among those hoping to make this a reality is Umicore, a former mining company in Belgium that has transformed into one of the world’s largest recycling companies in an attempt to tap into the urban mining market. Its main focus is on batteries – including those from electric vehicles – primarily to retrieve the copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium…Umicore doesn’t publicly share how much it recycles each year, but claims “we have a capacity of 7,000 tonnes for battery recycling, that equals 250 million mobile phone batteries, two million e-bike batteries or 35,000 EV batteries”…One metal that is currently in high demand is cobalt, a crucial component of lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars…Recovering all the end-of-life portable devices collected by EU citizens over the past 20 years would, she says, “generate enough cobalt to [produce] at least 10 million electric vehicles”…From one tonne of mobile phone batteries, Umicore claims it can extract between 135-240kg of cobalt, depending on the generation of phone – modern smartphones have more. They say they can also reclaim 70kg of copper and 15kg of lithium from the same handsets. Even once the battery has been removed, the electronics inside a phone can surrender around 1kg of silver and 235g of gold per tonne of devices. This compares very favourably to primary mining, which only averages 100g of silver in each tonne of mined ore, and 2-5g of gold per tonne of ore…It makes the “urban mine” far richer in high value materials per tonne than traditional metal ore mines. And, according to Sintef, the Norwegian research institute, urban mining requires 17 times less energy to retrieve these metals than needed to obtain virgin materials…That’s the theory. In practice, however, “we are a long, long way from achieving this” for critical raw materials, says Horne. “Firstly, not all WEEE is recycled. At present the rate is 35% in the EU. Secondly, not all the elements are currently extracted… due to the treatment processes employed. For example, the recovery rate for [precious metals] contained in the WEEE recycled in Europe in 2014 was just 1%.”…The EU hopes to increase this, however, but only expects to reach 5% by 2020 and 20% by 2030. “Even if these targets are achieved, we are still some distance from being able to supply the quantities required [to meet demand],” says Horne…“The prices in the market of primary materials [from primary mining] can be very cheap when mines are situated in Africa or China,” says Martinez. The question is whether we are happy with buying cheap goods that come with a high ecological and human cost…

 
 
EVs & Energy Storage
 
Reuters US News - April 9, 2020
FILE PHOTO: Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles are seen during a delivery event at its factory in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020....
FILE PHOTO: Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles are seen during a delivery event at its factory in Shanghai, China January...

Tesla Inc sold 10,160 vehicles in China in March, its highest ever monthly sales in the world’s largest auto market, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Thursday…Tesla, which aims to produce 150,000 Model 3 sedans from its $2 billion Shanghai factory, sold around 30% of the battery electric vehicles sold in China, Cui Dongshu, CPCA secretary general, said on an online briefing…Tesla sold around 3,900 units in February, up from 2,620 vehicles in January, CPCA data showed. CPCA uses a different counting method than Tesla’s deliveries…Overall passenger car sales in March were down 40.8% from a year earlier.

 
S&P Global Platts - April 9, 2020
Singapore — China will soon release the development plan for new energy vehicles, or NEVs, for 2021-2035 to stabilize and expand...
according to S&P Global Platts calculations. Meanwhile, China's battery metals market remained subdued as the industry is yet to...

China will soon release the development plan for new energy vehicles, or NEVs, for 2021-2035 to stabilize and expand consumption of electric vehicles and other hybrid cars, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Wednesday…China has launched a series of measures to boost the demand for NEVs this year, which are likely to bear fruits in the longer run, according to some market observers…China's NEV output is set to reach 1.6 million units in 2020, up 23% from a year earlier, China Securities Journal quoted Cui Dongshu, the secretary general of China Passenger Car Association, as saying…Sales of new energy vehicle were expected to make up 25% of the total new car sales by 2025, according to the proposal. The target was equivalent to about 7 million units, given the total sales of 28.1 million units in 2018, according to S&P Global Platts calculations.

 
ChinaDaily.com.cn - April 9, 2020
BERLIN -- Volkswagen Group Components and the startup Shanghai DU-POWER New Energy Technical Co Ltd will jointly produce flexible quick...
were designed in such a way that old batteries from electric cars could be used as energy storage devices,...

According to Volkswagen, the start of series production of the charging stations is scheduled for the second half of 2020…Due to its "compact dimensions," the charging stations could be set up almost anywhere where there would be a need or where no charging infrastructure was yet available, according to Volkswagen…The flexible charging points could also be turned into fixed charging points when connected to the low voltage grid. According to Volkswagen, this would require less effort and cost compared to permanently installed quick charging points…In order to use valuable resources sustainably, the charging stations were designed in such a way that old batteries from electric cars could be used as energy storage devices, according to Volkswagen…"The electrification of the global automotive industry is a megatrend... We will work with Volkswagen to create a solid foundation to support the success of electric vehicles", said Yong Kang, CEO of Shanghai DU-POWER.

 
Reuters - April 7, 2020
FILE PHOTO: The unmanned delivery vehicle, Nuro, is seen during the Kroger annual shareholders meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., June 28,...
Administration in February to deploy up to 5,000 low-speed electric delivery vehicles in Houston without human controls...

U.S. companies that deliver groceries, household goods and take out food are scrambling to find drivers as well as ways to deliver with zero or minimal contact amid the virus outbreak…Nuro, the second firm after Alphabet Inc’s Waymo to receive the state’s permit, has been allowed to test its low-speed R2 vehicle, about half the width of a regular car, without drivers…The permit also means Nuro can begin conducting deliveries with its local retail partners, Estrada added…Walmart Inc and Domino’s Pizza last year launched pilot delivery projects with Nuro in Houston…Nuro, a privately held robotics company based in Mountain View, California, was permitted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in February to deploy up to 5,000 low-speed electric delivery vehicles in Houston without human controls such as mirrors and steering wheels.

 
 
fortuneminerals
For further information about the NICO Project and its Mineral Reserves, please refer to the Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for NICO, entitled "Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the NICO-Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper Project, Northwest Territories, Canada", dated April 2, 2014 and prepared by Micon, which has been filed on SEDAR and is available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com.

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The materials appearing in this email contain forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes, or may be based upon, estimates, forecasts, and statements as to management’s expectations with respect to, among other things, the size and quality of the Company’s mineral resources, progress in permitting and development of mineral properties, timing and cost for placing the Company’s mineral projects into production, costs of production, amount and quality of metal products recoverable from the Company’s mineral resources, anticipated revenues, earnings and cash flows from the Company's mineral projects, demand and market outlook for metals and coal and future metal and coal prices. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is given, and is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits and regulatory approvals, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal and coal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, the possibility that production from the Company's mineral projects may be less than anticipated, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, uncertainties related to metal recoveries and other factors. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred mineral resources are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that mineral resources will be converted into mineral reserves. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information because it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by the Company. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update them or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.