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Unknown - June 9, 2021
As the impact of the Covid19 pandemic winds down, cobalt demand in 2021 should be boosted by strong performance in the electric vehicle (EV) sector with some analysts predicting a 17% increase in demand this year over 2020.

Cobalt is used in the production of lithium-ion battery materials, superalloys, high-temperature alloys, cutting tools, magnetic materials, petrochemical catalysts, pharmaceuticals, steels and glaze materials…Unlike in the past, however, today the cobalt market is largely being driven by “new economy” drivers including lithium-ion batteries and superalloys…Consumer electronics, Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are the dominant uses for lithium-ion batteries and it is estimated that EVs and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles will reach price parity by 2024…Cobalt demand is steadily rising and a new market analysis by Elsa Olivetti at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her colleagues confirms the prospect of cobalt shortages if refining and recycling practices aren’t conducted more efficiently or in greater quantities. They estimate that global demand for cobalt will rise to between 235,000 and 430,000 tonnes by 2030 – an amount that is at least 1.6 times the world’s current refining capacity…Lithium-ion batteries installed in EVs and other consumer electronics account for about half of all cobalt demand at present and demand is projected to more than quadruple over the next decade. These batteries commonly use either nickel, cobalt, aluminum or nickel manganese cobalt oxides given their ability to provide a long lifespan and high energy density – a determining factor in how far a single charge can power an electric vehicle. Today, most portable applications are powered by cobalt-based lithium-ion batteries which were first commercialized in the 1990s…In fact, it is estimated that 98% of cobalt is produced as a by-product of nickel or copper mining. From a supply standpoint, the market is highly imbalanced with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) currently producing 71% of cobalt for the market. Indeed, the top five cobalt producers control over 53% of global supply which is typically sourced from DRC-based operations. China then processes 80% of global intermediates such as cobalt metal or cobalt salts…The cobalt implications of the Biden Clean Energy Plan are expected to become much clearer during 2021.The scope of the plan includes US$400 billion over 10 years targeting the creation of 10 million US jobs. At the present time, the program includes the targeted installation of 500,000 EV charging stations that will support an estimated 25 million EVs. The plan is part of a broader strategy that seeks mobilization of public investment to fight climate change that includes a net zero carbon emissions target for the US by 2050; building the US into a “clean energy superpower;” and creating support for a domestic supply chain for strategic materials (including cobalt) that the US currently imports.

S&P Global Market Intelligence - June 9, 2021
Battery recycling efforts have picked up in major electric vehicle markets, but analysts said the industry still lacks well-established ...
recycled batteries, providing one solution for EV makers seeking cobalt-free batteries. Building policy in China In China,

Battery recycling efforts have picked up in major electric vehicle markets, but analysts said the industry still lacks well-established collecting systems and regulatory frameworks to provide sufficient secondary supply for manufacturers as potential shortages in key metals loom…Some key components of EV batteries, such as lithium and cobalt, are expected to be in short supply after 2024, while nickel, another major EV battery component, will remain in a sustained market surplus to 2025, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data…As EV penetration rates increase through 2040 amid global efforts to transition to a low-carbon future, demand for battery materials is expected to soar. Demand for the critical minerals used in batteries for EVs and grid storage will grow by at least 30 times by 2040, the International Energy Agency estimated in a May report. The projected surge in used battery volumes presents an opportunity for the recycling industry to integrate into the battery supply chain, experts said…EV batteries manufactured over the next decade will likely have a minimal amount of recycled battery content, but that could change by the end of 2030, with recycled cobalt, nickel and lithium making up 10% to 20% of global demand, according to Ajay Kochhar, CEO and co-founder of the five-year-old Canadian battery recycling company Li-Cycle Corp…Annual cobalt supply from recycling could reach 34,000 tonnes by 2030, with more than 80% sourced from batteries, according to the outlook. However, that may not be nearly enough…In China, less than 10% of end-of-life or spent lithium-ion batteries are recycled or reused. Some analysts said the lack of dominant recycling players in major EV markets, such as China, can be traced to the limited profitability of the industry. Without dominant players, battery recycling is still a nascent industry without an established model that others could learn from, Yu said…But battery recycling is gaining momentum amid a push from the government, according to analysts. In March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the country would accelerate the development of power battery recycling systems while delivering the 2021 Government Work Report…In the U.S., the adoption of lithium-ion battery recycling policies at a federal or state level could help create a more circular supply chain for EVs, some experts said…Lithium-ion batteries do not have the same recycling mandates as lead-acid batteries, according to Ciez. About 99% of lead-acid batteries in the U.S. are recycled, due to widely adopted recycling requirements, but the same regulations do not exist for lithium-ion batteries…"It's problem also just a looming that we see coming, but it is not here yet, so it's hard to get a lot of infrastructure built for that," Ciez noted…The European Commission's battery recycling proposals include imposing standard recovery rates for certain battery materials and requiring new batteries to have a minimum amount of recycled content. 

Unknown - June 9, 2021
The European Union should promote a moratorium on deep seabed mining until its effects on the environment are better understood and can be managed, the European Parliament said on Wednesday, adding to calls for a pause on the nascent industry.

The European Union should promote a moratorium on deep seabed mining until its effects on the environment are better understood and can be managed, the European Parliament said on Wednesday, adding to calls for a pause on the nascent industry…A global shift from fossil fuels to electrify the global economy is stoking demand for minerals used to make batteries. Some of these are found on the seabed, whose ecosystems have yet to be fully explored…Deep-sea mining would extract cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese from potato-sized nodules which pepper the sea floor at depths of 4-6 kilometres…These rocks are particularly abundant in a region of the North Pacific Ocean spanning millions of kilometres between Hawaii and Mexico…Environmentalists and some companies have backed a moratorium, saying too little is known about the impact of disturbing the ocean floor, while early trials have been hit by technical glitches…Lawmakers urged the European Commission to back a moratorium until the effects on the marine environment, biodiversity and human activities at sea have been sufficiently studied and can be managed to ensure no marine biodiversity loss nor degradation of marine ecosystems…The non-binding resolution is timely as the European Commission and the EU member states are currently debating whether to take a common EU position at the ISA, civil society group Deep Sea Conservation Coalition said.

EVs & Energy Stroage
Unknown - June 10, 2021
Italy aims to spur total investments of more than one billion euros ($1.22 billion) to build an electric car battery factory with car maker Stellantis expected to play a leading role, three government sources told Reuters.

In the plan it sent Brussels in April to access EU Recovery Funds, Rome has earmarked around 600 million euros of public money for the project to build a gigafactory in Italy…But it is confident this could trigger further investments from industrial and financial partners to bring the total to more than one billion euros, the sources said…Rome's plan is to set up a large public-private partnership (PPP) scheme with a stake held by Stellantis even though other options are also being considered, one of the sources said…Stellantis, formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, declined to comment…Italy's Recovery Plan envisages a 37 gigawatt hours (GWH) battery factory employing up to 500 new workers by 2030. The document targets some 1.8 billion euros in funding by that date though one ministry source said this was unlikely…Stellantis, the world's fourth largest carmaker, currently has two gigafactory projects in Europe, in France and in Germany, with overall investments of 5 billion euros…It has said additional factories in Europe and in the United States will be decided in 2021 to support its shift to electric mobility…Rome could face stiff competition from other EU countries, including Spain which is moving aggressively to land new battery and electric vehicle plants using billions of EU pandemic relief funds.

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


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