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Excerpt from May 22, 2020 BMO Metals Brief:

Another clear message out of the NPC was the drive towards new infrastructure including charging poles for EVs. Tesla has decided to accelerate their plans to deploy 4000+ supercharging piles in China in 2020, almost twice the instalments of the previous five years combined. Meanwhile, another province issued further subsidies on EVs. Hainan will issue RMB10k per EV on top of the central government subsidies through 2020. Over in the western world, the EU is said to be mulling over a $22bn package to boost ‘clean cars’. The definition as to a ‘clean car’ has not yet been confirmed, but we suspect this will not just be focused at EVs.

 
Cobalt
 
Metal Bulletin - May 22, 2020
Chinese multi-metal company Jinchuan Group will conduct maintenance at its cobalt smelter in Gansu Province in early June, market sources...
in the loss of 200 tonnes of cobalt metal production, Fastmarkets understands. Jinchuan Group produces cobalt...

The maintenance period will last about 15 days and is expected to result in the loss of 200 tonnes of cobalt metal production, Fastmarkets understands.

 
Reuters Africa - May 21, 2020
A view of processing facilities at Tenke Fungurume, a copper and cobalt mine 110 km (68 miles) northwest of Lubumbashi in Congo's...
and cobalt mine 110 km (68 miles) northwest of Lubumbashi in Congo's copper-producing south, owned by miner...

China Molybdenum’s Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt mine in Democratic Republic of Congo will maintain the same output this year as 2019 despite COVID-19 disruptions, Tenke Fungurume director Simon Tuma-Waku said on Thursday…“We think we will be able to maintain the same amount of production as last year,” Tuma-Waku told a virtual panel. “Production has more or less been maintained.”

 
 
EVs & Energy Storage
 
Mining Weekly - May 21, 2020
Battery makers and car manufacturers have seen a shift in the pursuit of altering battery chemistry to lower the costs of new energy...
as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Australia. This should worsen oversupply, especially in the lithium and cobalt...

Speaking to Engineering News & Mining Weekly, independent research house Afriforesight Battery Metals head Pearson Mururi says there is a continued drive by automotive battery makers to invest in the development of low-cost batteries – which contain less nickel and cobalt – with low energy density for short-driving-range electric vehicles…It is expected that such batteries will be used in the manufacture of NEVs for sale in the next two years…Simultaneously, there is ongoing development of high-capacity batteries – with these typically containing a higher nickel content – to enable NEVs to have a longer driving range. Mururi says that, in the short term, the shift towards altering battery chemistry can be attributed to subsidy cuts in China and the global economic slowdown… “In the long term, NEVs will need a long driving range to attract internal combustion engine (ICE) buyers who have driving range anxiety.” Therefore, Afriforesight expects most major vehicle manufacturers to continue pushing research and development of nickel- rich battery chemistries to meet future demand of an 800 km to 1 000 km driving range. The high nickel content ensures a higher energy density, resulting in a longer driving range…Finding the Right Chemistry…Automotive battery makers mainly produce three main battery chemistries – lithium iron phosphate (LFP), lithium nickel- manganese-cobalt (NMC) and lithium nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) batteries, Mururi notes…LFP batteries are relatively cheap, as they are simple to make and use low-cost materials. NMC and NCA chemistries are more complex to synthesise and use nickel and cobalt, which tend to have more volatile and higher prices as compared to iron and phosphate inputs used for LFP batteries…However, high-nickel-content NMC and NCA batteries have high specific energy, providing NEVs with longer driving ranges than other battery chemistries, he explains…LFP batteries have a significant market share in China, as their low driving range is sufficient for transport in the densely populated cities. However, the share of LFP batteries declined over the past five years, as subsidies made more expensive NEVs, powered by nickel-rich batteries with a longer driving range, more affordable. This trend reversed with the reduction of Chinese NEV subsidies…Large automotive manufacturers, such as Tesla, have also adopted a short-term strategy to develop low-cost NEV models to meet current market demand, but they continue to develop nickel-rich, high-driving-range battery technologies for future models, he adds. Tesla is in negotiations with CATL to use the company’s LFP batteries in entry-level Model 3 vehicles to be sold in China…Ford Motor Company, despite being a small player in the NEV market, is developing a new hybrid chemistry – comprising nickel, manganese, cobalt and aluminium – which can potentially boost the driving range of NEVs, he adds.

 
Argus Media - May 22, 2020
China-Japan joint venture FAW Toyota Auto has released its first all-electric vehicle Izoa in the Chinese market, which uses...
released its first all-electric vehicle Izoa in the Chinese market, which uses nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM)...

China-Japan joint venture FAW Toyota Auto has released its first all-electric vehicle Izoa in the Chinese market, which uses nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries produced by Japanese technology firm Panasonic…Toyota and Panasonic in February set up a joint venture to produce prismatic lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries and next-generation batteries for EVs…Toyota has been expanding its share in the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry. It forecast in June last year that NEVs will account for more than 50pc of its total sales by 2025, with all-electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles expected to account for more than 10pc…US EV producer Tesla has continued to use NCM batteries at its plant in Shanghai, although there have been market discussions that Tesla might use lithium iron phosphate batteries to produce EVs. Tesla's Shanghai plant is on track to produce 4,000 units of its Model 3 as early as the end of June.

 
Reuters - May 22, 2020
A building of the Geely Auto Research Institute is seen in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song BEIJING...
in 2018. The two companies formed a China-based venture to build electric Smart cars and a separate premium ride-hailing...

China’s Geely will explore the possibility of deeper cooperation with German luxury automaker Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), its Chairman Li Shufu said on Friday. Geely built a 9.69% stake in Stuttgart-based Daimler in 2018. The two companies formed a China-based venture to build electric Smart cars and a separate premium ride-hailing venture. They also invested in Volocopter, a flying taxi company…Geely would also “launch several new products and services to our markets around the world” this year, Li said in a statement to Reuters. Geely plans to roll out Lynk & Co cars in Europe this year…Li also said Chinese auto market is returning to normal and global auto supply chain disruption is “temporary and manageable.”

 
Green Car Congress - May 22, 2020
Representatives Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (D-CA-39) and Francis Rooney (R-FL-19) introduced the Department of Defense (DOD) Non-Tactical...
costs to the Department and allows for the acquisition of electric vehicle charging stations on military installations in...

This bill directs the DOD to replace such vehicles—from passenger cars to construction vehicles such as bulldozers and forklifts—as they age with zero-emission vehicles…The gradual procurement process minimizes extraneous costs to the Department and allows for the acquisition of electric vehicle charging stations on military installations in the United States and its territories…Such steps would lessen DOD’s reliance on petroleum, thereby reducing fuel costs and improving non-tactical vehicle efficiency, while also shrinking the Department’s overall carbon footprint and negative impact on the environment…”The Department of Defense is the largest consumer of fuel in the country and maintains a sizable fleet of non-tactical vehicles on installations across the United States and its territories. While DOD has made progress in decreasing its petroleum fuel consumption, more can be done to reduce costs, improve efficiency and resilience to fuel shocks, and limit negative environmental impacts.”—Rep. Cisneros

 
EURACTIV - May 20, 2020
The European Commission’s promised green recovery plan will focus on building renovation, renewables and hydrogen as well as clean mobility and the circular economy, according to a leaked working document obtained by EURACTIV. The European Commission is busy putting together a plan to help the EU economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis, preparing to pour at least €1 trillion into a broad stimulus programme expected to be presented next week.

The European Commission is busy putting together a plan to help the EU economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis, preparing to pour at least €1 trillion into a broad stimulus programme expected to be presented next week…Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined the plan to the European Parliament last week, promising to put the Green Deal at the centre of the EU’s recovery effort…The plan is scheduled to be released on 27 May and although key details on funding are still lacking, some aspects of the plan are now starting to emerge. Yesterday, EURACTIV got hold of a draft presented as “a working document” related to the green aspects of the recovery plan…For the automotive industry, the plan proposes:..An EU-wide Purchasing Facility for Clean Vehicles, that reduces CO2 and pollutant emissions in line with EU standards. Amount: €20 billion in the next two years…A Clean Automotive Investment Fund to accelerate the investments in zero-emission drive trains. Amount: €40-60 billion…Doubling EU investment on electric car recharging infrastructure, with the objective of reaching 2 million public charging and alternative refuelling stations by 2025.

 
 
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.