Trent Mell: Demand and Power, The Future of Cobalt
Trent Mell: Demand and Power, The Future of Cobalt by Rory – The Daily Coin
We continue our series of interviews with some of the most important mining executives from around the world. If you are committed to the idea that our economy is in serious trouble, as we at The Daily Coin detail on a daily basis, these interviews are your window to potentially offset what is a mathematical certainty. The weight of debt is becoming to much to bear and how will we survive and thrive in the future?
Trent Mell, President and CEO, First Cobalt, soon to be the worlds largest cobalt mining operation, is on the leading edge of new technology. As our world continues to change and evolve more and more auto companies are stripping their R&D Teams of any funding outside of lithium ion battery technology. Cobalt is the key element to producing these batteries.
Not only is First Cobalt mining cobalt they are also mining silver. We love silver and we love the fact that silver is rapidly being depleted as that means our investment today will be worth substantially more tomorrow. This holds true with cobalt as well. There is not enough cobalt to currently satisfy the market and not enough new mines coming online to fill the current gap much less future demand.
Take look at the overview of two of First Cobalts projects
Canada – Keeley-Frontier Overview
The neighbouring towns of Silver Centre and Cobalt, Ontario were historically the most prolific cobalt jurisdictions in Canada. It is estimated that these two mining camps produced 50 million pounds of cobalt and 600 million ounces of silver over a 60-year period.
From 1908 to 1965, Keeley-Frontier produced over 3.3 million pounds of cobalt at a recovered grade of 0.5% and 19.1 million ounces of silver at a recovered grade of over 1,800 g/t. The property consists of 5 mining leases, 13 patented mineral claims and 7 unpatented mineral claims. Both surface and mining rights are attached to lands subject to easements for the purpose of establishing transmission lines and some surface rights withheld by the Ministry of Mines and Northern Development.
Democratic Republic of the Congo – Property Overview
All seven properties are on prospective ground proximal to several major copper-cobalt operations and projects in the Central African Copperbelt (see Figure 1). Five of the properties form a cluster, located approximately 50 kilometres northeast of Lubumbashi, central to existing smelters and refineries. The sixth property is also nearby, close to the former producing Luishia Cu-Co mine, and the seventh is approximately 55 kilometres from the Tenke-Fungurume mine. The claims total 190 km2 and some are contiguous allowing for systematic exploration.
Recently, Elon Musk, Tesla, unveiled the new Model 3 with a charging cycle of 200 miles. I would expect this to improve as the technology improves. This is merely one example of what is coming down the pike. The British central planners just outlawed gas and diesel engine vehicles beginning in 2040. This will have a massive impact on the lithium ion battery. Production, today, must be ramped up to meet this forced demand.
The batteries are produced in a Gigafactory and China is already building several, which is very bullish for the coming tide of demand. It is no secret that China has a massive air pollution problem and they see this as being a way to offset some of the coal being burned throughout the country, while at the same time, removing the air pollution generated by automobiles.
In 2018, Tesla will complete its Nevada Gigafactory—the biggest battery factory the world has ever seen. But hot on Elon Musk’s heels are several Chinese who plan to provide almost 3.5 times more gigawatt-hours of battery cells a year than the Gigafactory by 2021, according to Bloomberg. – Source
What will happen when China moves into this space in earnest? What impact will the Belt and Road Initiative have on the future demand for cobalt and lithium ion batteries? Will China, do as they have been doing in the gold mining space, begin purchasing cobalt, silver and other essential mines? My guess is, since the Chinese aren’t fools, they will probably continue their global buying spree of real, tangible, elements that have value.