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Excerpt from July 16, 2021 BMO Metals Brief:

Reuters has reported that Entreprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC), the DRC’s state cobalt buyer, will put in place a price floor of $30,000/t ($13.6/lb) for the material it buys from artisanal miners. EGC also plans to create a fund to insulate artisanal miners from price swings. If effective, this would ensure a more stable supply of cobalt from the DRC (logistics permitting), helping to alleviate one of the major concerns around supply security, however the willingness for end consumers to purchase artisanal material is still a subject of debate.

 
Cobalt
 
Reuters - July 15, 2021
(Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state cobalt buyer will put in place a price floor of $30,000 a tonne for the cobalt it buys ...
a price floor of $30,000 a tonne for the cobalt it buys from artisanal miners, Entreprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC) director-general Jean-

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state cobalt buyer will put in place a price floor of $30,000 a tonne for the cobalt it buys from artisanal miners, Entreprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC) director-general Jean-Dominique Takis told Reuters…Cobalt, which is trading at around $50,000 a tonne, is used in the batteries that power electric vehicles, sales of which are expected to soar over coming years as the world strives to cut carbon emissions…The world’s top cobalt producer, the Congo set up EGC to buy all artisanal cobalt produced in the country to try to boost government revenue from the largely informal sector in which miners work by hand and sell to unregulated middlemen…On Monday, the EGC said it planned to start its cobalt buying at the Kasulo site, near Kolwezi in the southern Lualaba province, within eight weeks…In a telephone interview, Takis said the EGC aimed to source 7,000 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide from Kasulo this year. That will be followed by 15,000 tonnes in 2022 and 20,000 tonnes in 2023…The Congo produced around 100,000 tonnes of cobalt last year or about 71% of the global total, Darton Commodities’ review of the market found…Of this, around 9,000 tonnes was artisanal production, research house CRU estimates…EGC is working with international trader Trafigura, which in November signed a five-year marketing deal with the body to provide pre-financing for a total of 45,000 tonnes of cobalt…Cobalt prices have been volatile and hit decade highs of nearly $100,000 a tonne in 2018, almost double the price now.

 
Metal Bulletin - July 15, 2021
Glencore has described rioting in South Africa as a “force majeure event” in a letter to customers about a number of ores, alloys and ...
them from fulfilling contracts with customers. The notices have been sent to cobalt, chrome ore, ferro-chrome, manganese ore and vanadium

Glencore has described rioting in South Africa as a “force majeure event” in a letter to customers about a number of ores, alloys and metals exported from the country, although this is not a declaration of force majeure…In a notice to customers on July 14, seen by Fastmarkets, the trader-miner warned that ongoing violence in South Africa could potentially prevent them from fulfilling contracts with customers. The notices have been sent to cobalt, chrome ore, ferro-chrome, manganese ore and vanadium customers…While no customer reported to Fastmarkets that a specific delivery or contract had definitely been affected, some customers mistook the notice for...

 
 
EVs & Energy Storage
 
Reuters - July 16, 2021
TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co's (7267.T) chief executive said on Friday the Japanese automaker was willing to form new ...

Honda Motor Co's new chief executive said on Friday the Japanese automaker was willing to form new alliances to make electrification profitable…"If through an alliance Honda can accomplish early what it should aim to be, then we'd be willing to form an alliance," Toshihiro Mibe, who took the top job in April, told a press briefing, when asked how he envisions global alliances on electrification…Mibe's comments reflect the pressure on the global auto industry to share technology and costs to meet demands for cleaner vehicles…Honda and its alliance partner General Motors Co have said they would introduce two jointly developed large-sized EV models in North America, using GM's Ultium batteries, in 2024 and will launch a series of new models which feature a new EV platform dubbed 'e:Architecture'…Honda has said it aims to increase the ratio of EVs and FCVs to 100% of all sales by 2040…The price of electric vehicles, like home appliances, drops rapidly once the products are out in the market, Mibe said…Traditionally known for its fuel-efficient internal-combustion engines, Honda launched its first mass-produced all-battery vehicle in August.

 
 
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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.