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Excerpt from February 3, 2022 BMO Metals Brief:

China is set to raise the VAT rebate for nickel, cobalt and lithium battery scrap to 50%, rising from the existing 30%, in an effort to incentivise recycling, report Fastmarkets. According to the Ministry of Finance document, the rebate will only be available to those recyclers achieving a combined recovery rate of nickel, cobalt and manganese of no less than 98% and a recovery rate for lithium of no less than 98%. Industry participants remain sceptical of the efficacy of the policy with a lot of motor scrap sold by individual consumers, however, it follows a flurry of government announcements designed to encourage circular behaviour and to boost domestically-sourced scrap utilisation.

Kitco - February 2, 2022
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, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was the world’s largest source of mined cobalt, supplying over 70% of world cobalt mine production.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was the world’s largest cobalt producer in 2021, responsible for over 70% of the global mine cobalt supplies. Mine cobalt production in DRC increased by 22.4% to 120,000 tonnes…According to the preliminary data released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), estimated global mine cobalt production in 2021 was record high at 170,000 tonnes, a 20% increase over 2020 (142,000 tonnes)…USGS said that the increase in global mine cobalt output in 2021 was mainly due to increased production at existing operations, although new production and restarts at suspended operations also contributed to the overall production growth…With 120,000 tonnes of cobalt produced in 2021, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was the world’s largest source of mined cobalt, supplying over 70% of world cobalt mine production. DRC was followed by Russia (7,600 tonnes) and Australia (5,600 tonnes)…According to the report, China was the world’s leading producer of refined cobalt, most of which it produced from partially refined cobalt imported from DRC…China was also the world’s leading consumer of cobalt, with more than 80% of its consumption being used by the rechargeable battery industry.

The Globe and Mail - February 2, 2022
A roundup of investment ideas for active investors

The global commodity strategy team at BofA Securities has identified 27 raw materials they group under the acronym MIFT – metals important for future technology – that are vital for the rise of renewable power, and should see significant price increases as demand climbs…The list of metals goes well beyond copper, lithium and cobalt which investors usually associate with de-carbonization. The strategist notes that electric vehicle batteries alone require 10 metal inputs: copper, graphite, silicon, titanium, aluminum, niobium, cobalt, lithium, manganese and nickel…The strategists forecast extremely strong growth in a number of materials to 2030. Nickel demand, for example, is expected to see a 60 per cent jump in demand relative to current levels and cobalt will see an even more impressive 215 per cent increase. Lithium is forecast to see the biggest surge – BofA predicts a 492 per cent expansion in demand in the next eight years…The MIFT theme provides ample motivation for further research and investors can wait for promising opportunities as the trend plays out in the coming years.

BNN - February 3, 2022
CME Group Inc., one of the largest commodity exchanges in the world, expects to launch a suite of battery-metal products in the future as it works toward securing its place as the go-to home for trading of key materials needed in the global energy transition.

CME Group Inc., one of the largest commodity exchanges in the world, expects to launch a suite of battery-metal products in the future as it works toward securing its place as the go-to home for trading of key materials needed in the global energy transition…The exchange last year saw a surge of interest in contracts of metals like cobalt and lithium that are critical to lithium-ion batteries needed to power electric vehicles and energy grid storage systems, according to CME’s global head of metals products, Young-Jin Chang. The bulk of interest is coming from commercial clients and hedgers who actively buy and sell the physical metals, she said, indicating that the exchange is gaining traction from more and more key players that still largely transact through handshake deals and long-dated contracts…The CME’s cobalt futures contract started trading in 2020 as the market was looking for more transparency around pricing in the battery metal market, which still largely moves on direct deals between producers and original equipment manufacturers that supply automakers like Tesla Inc. and others. The CME said trading volume of cobalt is up 81% year-over-year, and the exchange has now extended open interest in the contract through the first half of 2023, indicating climbing demand for contracts more than a year away…To be sure, volumes are still small compared to much more mature markets like copper. For example, aggregate open interest for lithium and cobalt is 3 contracts and 1,594 contracts, respectively, while for copper it’s nearly 200,000. But the CME is beating the rival London Metal Exchange as carmakers, battery companies and banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are looking to hedge their price exposure.

Reuters - February 2, 2022
The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/ ...

Mining giant Glencore and electric vehicle (EV) battery startup Britishvolt will jointly develop a new UK battery recycling plant that will help reuse expensive key raw materials like cobalt and lithium, the two companies said on Thursday…The plant will be built at the site of a Glencore operation in Northfleet, east of London and is set to launch in 2023…The recycling facility will be able to process at least 10,000 tonnes (10 million kg) of lithium-ion batteries per year. The companies did not disclose their financial investment or how many jobs will be created…The plant will also process battery manufacturing scrap from Britishvolt's planned battery factory in northern England…As the auto industry gears up to shift to making only EVs - spurred on by proposed bans on fossil-fuel cars in the next decade or so - the pressure to produce environmentally and socially responsible batteries has increased…Recycling batteries will also reduce the amount of cobalt or lithium Britain needs to import to make EVs…Last year Britishvolt and Glencore signed a long-term cobalt supply deal and the mining giant owns an undisclosed stake in the startup…Last month Britishvolt secured UK government backing for its battery plant in Blyth, unlocking 1.7 billion pounds ($2.30 billion) in private funding…When the 3.8 billion pound, 45 gigawatt-hour (GWh) plant is fully operational in 2027 it should be able to produce battery packs for over 450,000 EVs annually.

Mining Weekly - February 2, 2022
JOHANNESBURG ( – Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has entered a battery recycling joint venture (JV) with ...

Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has entered a battery recycling joint venture (JV) with strategic partner and battery pioneer Britishvolt, a UK battery cell technologies and research and development investor…The JV will develop an ecosystem for battery recycling in the UK. This ecosystem will be anchored at a new recycling plant located at the Britannia Refined Metals (BRM) operation in Northfleet, a Glencore company. BRM will continue with its current production and trading operations…Once complete, the plant will be Glencore and Britishvolt’s first battery recycling facility in the UK, with an expected processing capacity of a minimum of 10 000 t of lithium-ion batteries a year, including but not limited to valuable battery manufacturing scrap, portable electronics batteries and full electric vehicle packs…The facility, which will process all Britishvolt’s battery manufacturing scrap from its Gigafactory in Blyth, is expected to be operational by mid-2023 with the long-term aim of being 100% powered by renewable energy…The partnership will also look to develop other recycling activities such as the refining of black mass into battery grade raw materials…Both companies believe that battery recycling will form a key part of the energy transition, efficiently recovering the critical metals needed for the energy transition…Glencore head cobalt trader David Brocas expressed excitement at Glencore’s deepening partnership with Britishvolt, making the point that both companies are united in their ambition to further the energy and mobility transition.

EVs & Energy Storage
Reuters - February 2, 2022
Ola Kaellenius, chairman of Daimler AG attends the presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class at the Daimler production plant in ...

Scarce supply of raw materials for electric cars could slow the transition from fossil-fuel burning vehicles to electric ones, Mercedes-Benz Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said in an interview with German paper Die Zeit on Wednesday…"The industrialization of mines and refinery capacities may not progress as quickly as demand increases. Should that happen, it would only delay e-mobility, but not prevent it," Kaellenius said.

BNN - February 3, 2022
Panasonic Corp. is renovating a facility in Japan to start testing mass production of a new type of lithium-ion battery that’s championed by Tesla Inc. as the key to unlocking cheaper electric vehicles.

Panasonic Corp. is renovating a facility in Japan to start testing mass production of a new type of lithium-ion battery that’s championed by Tesla Inc. as the key to unlocking cheaper electric vehicles…Panasonic will start prototype production of a next-generation “4680” battery early this year at a facility in Japan’s western Wakayama Prefecture, Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda said Wednesday at a briefing on the company’s quarterly financial results…The Wakayama facility will first be used for pilot production of the 4680 cells. After various tests, a mass production line will be newly installed, likely also in Wakayama, Umeda said…The 4680 batteries -- named after their dimensions of a 46-millimeter diameter and 80-millimeter height -- hold more than five times the capacity of the smaller 1865 and 2170 cells Panasonic currently supplies to Tesla. This means that fewer cells and related parts are needed in an EV, which in turn has the potential to lower its overall cost…While Tesla plans to make the cells in-house, it has asked Panasonic to begin producing them as well. The Japanese company has said it will seek to sell the batteries to EV makers other than just Tesla…Battery rivals such as LG Energy Solution and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. are also stepping up investment to beef up their capacity. 

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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