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60% of Global Cobalt Supply at Risk as DRC Crackdown Intensifies

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60% of Global Cobalt Supply at Risk as DRC Crackdown Intensifies

 

 

 

 

 

Bolt Metals Corp. (CSE: BOLT) (FRANKFURT: NXFE) (OTCQB: PCRCF) an Indonesia-based company focused on developing battery mineral projects in the Asia‐Pacific region, noted the Financial Times reported that Huayou Cobalt “China’s top cobalt producer halts buying from Congo miners.” It’s widely reported that the Democratic Republic of Congo represents 60% of global cobalt production.

 

Shanghai-listed Huayou supplies cobalt to battery makers LG Chem of South Korea and CATL of China, as well as Chinese carmaker BYD and Germany’s Volkswagen.  

 

Bowing to international pressure to shutter its conflict-sourced cobalt, Huayou is the latest conglomerate to exit the DRC, joining Apple, Google and several auto manufacturers. Huayou is looking to raise $870m in an effort to expand nickel and cobalt sulphate production in Indonesia. Huayou’s plant in Indonesia’s Morowali Industrial Park is expected to produce at least 60,000 tonnes of nickel content per year within 2 years.

 

Ranjeet Sundher, CEO of Bolt Metals, comments, “Cobalt remains an important ingredient in battery chemistries, and international markets are increasingly demanding conflict-free sources for the metal. Bolt Metals believes Indonesia represents a unique opportunity to exploit cobalt as a byproduct of the countries abundant nickel resources. Our flagship Cyclops nickel-cobalt asset has demonstrated strong results from 2018-19 drilling and benchmark analysis, providing an essential foundation for the eventual development of a pilot plant.”

 

Recent positive developments within Indonesia’s mining sector have generated significant interest in Bolt Metals and its Cyclops project from downstream battery metal suppliers within Indonesia as well as China, the largest battery metals market in the world.

 

Bolt Metals has signed preliminary offtake agreements with Beijing Easpring, China’s top battery metals supplier (please refer to the Company’s press release issued July 11, 2018) and Junan Jinxin (please refer to the Company’s press release issued March 5, 2020), primarily engaged in the acquisition, production, processing and marketing of tungsten and cobalt1. Both agreements provide a strategic investment option. Bolt Metals is working toward signing definitive agreements with both companies, while preparing for the commencement of construction of a pilot plant in Canada.

 

Processing results from the pilot plant will be used to establish design criteria for the subsequent demonstration plant in Indonesia, which will produce nickel and cobalt products suitable to meet market specifications. As well as demonstrating Bolt Metal’s ability to produce a product within market specifications, the demonstration plant will be used to establish design criteria for a commercial full-scale plant.

 

1 The Company has not made a decision to proceed to production and would not do so without first establishing mineral reserves. 

 

About Bolt Metals

 

BOLT Metals is a Canadian‐based exploration company focused on the acquisition and development of production grade nickel and cobalt deposits, key raw material inputs for the growing lithium‐ion battery industry.

 

Posted June 3, 2020

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