First Cobalt Corp. (FCC.V) aims to be the first vertically integrated cobalt company in North America. FCC.V controls over 10,000 hectares of prospective land, including a mineral processing facilities. We initiated coverage on May 2018 with an additional note in October 2018.
Oct. 19 - Files Technical Report for Iron Creek Cobalt Project. Inferred mineral resources of 29.6 million tons (26.9 million tonnes) grading 0.11% cobalt equivalent (0.08% cobalt and 0.30% copper) under a base case scenario pit constrained and deeper mineral resource.
Resource contains 45 million pounds (20,411 tonnes) of cobalt and 175 million pounds (79,379 tonnes) of copper for 62.9 million pounds (28,528 tonnes) of cobalt equivalent. Drilling ongoing for an updated resource estimate planned for early 2019.
Oct. 22 - First Cobalt Appoints Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Ryan Snyder has joined the executive team as Chief Financial Officer.
Oct. 24 - Drills 25.7 metres of 0.35% Cobalt at Iron Creek. Results reported today demonstrate thicker cobalt mineralized zones as well as mineralization between the two recognized zones (eg. 25.7m of 0.35% Co and 0.62 Cu (0.42% CoEq) in hole ICS18-03 among others)
Oct. 25 - Releases Video on Iron Creek Project.
Nov. 8 - Begins Testing Material for Refinery Restart. SGS Canada retained to test suitability of different cobalt feed material using the First Cobalt Refinery's current flowsheet. Discussions are underway with cobalt miners and commodity traders to explore options for ethically sourced cobalt hydroxide Cobalt Camp muckpile sampling and ore sorting programs indicate potential as incremental feed.
Nov. 19 - Continues to Show Continuity of Mineralization at Iron Creek Results include 32.3m of 0.31% Co and 0.31% Cu in ICS18-06B, 21.1m of 0.32% Co and 0.20% Cu in ICS18-05 (true widths) Three drill rigs on site to accelerate timing of updated resource estimate in early 2019.
Dec. 19 - Files Preliminary Base Shelf Prospectus. This filling will allow the Company to make offerings of common shares, subscription receipts, warrants or any combination thereof of up to C$20 million during the 25-month period. Aim is to provide for greater financial flexibility going forward. Company reports to not have entered into any agreements or arrangements to authorize or offer any securities at this time.
Jan. 8 - Begins Permitting and Environmental Programs at Iron Creek. Engaged Brown and Caldwell at the Iron Creek Project to provide guidance on permitting and to develop an environmental baseline study strategy.
First Cobalt’s strategy in 2019 is to advance and de-risk our two key assets: the Iron Creek Project in Idaho, USA and the First Cobalt Refinery in Ontario, Canada. In parallel with these tests, exploring sources of non-equity capital to finance the recommissioning of the refinery.
Jan. 16 - Corporate Update. Departure of independent director Jeff Swinoga who is joining EY Canada as Partner (Mining & Metals).
Jan. 22 - First Cobalt Extends Iron Creek 100 Metres Downdip in Central Area. Updated mineral resource estimate planned for March 31, 2019. A total of 13,000 metres completed in phase II drilling. Assays received to date provide a strong indication for enhancement of resource estimate.
Jan. 30 - Reports Progress in Refinery Material Testing. Findings: 98% of cobalt successfully leached from cobalt hydroxide material in preliminary testing. Next phase of testing including the production of cobalt sulphate, which is expected before the end of the quarter.
Feb. 13 - Continues to Extend Mineralization at Iron Creek and Intersects High Grade Copper. Today’s results support our view that copper-rich areas provide options for mine planning. With 18 drill holes pending to be included in an updated mineral resource estimate at the end of March.
Feb. 20 - Adds to Strike Length at Iron Creek. Mineralization extended another 75 metres to the east with cobalt grades comparable to the Inferred resource estimate, such as 6.9m of 0.20% Co, including 1.3m of 0.30% Co.
Feb. 21 - Three-Term Idaho Governor Butch Otter Joins Board of Directors. In connection with this appointment, the Company has issued incentive grants to purchase an aggregate of 150,000 deferred share units and 1M shares exercisable at a price of $0.18 for a period of five years.
Mar. 4 - Confirms Mineralization in 150-metre Step Out Hole and Announces Private Placement. Longest hole drilled to date at Iron Creek at 611m, extends No Name Zone mineralization by an additional 150m Dip extent of up to 400m from surface, extending mineralization well below the high grade cobalt zone that formed the basis of a historic resource estimate by Noranda. Updated resource estimate scheduled for late March.
Also announces a non-brokered private placement of 11M shares at $0.18 for $2M - Warants at 0.27 cents. Proceeds to support ongoing work at the First Cobalt Refinery as well as general corporate purposes.
Mar. 29 - Close Private Placement announced on Mar. 4th $1.6M at 0.18 cents with warrant at $0.27 cents. The Company intends to use the net proceeds to support ongoing work at the First Cobalt Refinery, as well as, general corporate purposes.
Insider Participation in Private Placement: Paul Frank Matysek (17%) and Trent Mell (14%) participated.
Apr. 3 - First Cobalt Produces Battery Grade Cobalt Sulfate. This significant milestone brings is a step closer to recommissioning the only permitted primary cobalt refinery in North America. Assayed 20% Cobalt, Product classified as “high purity”, achieving over 99.9% purity.
Potential to produce up to 2,000 tonnes of cobalt in product per annum as the process excluded use of autoclave circuit, allowing for increase in plant throughput. Near term cash flow potential 18-24 months from sourcing of feedstock, with offtake discussions underway.
Apr. 5 - Issues Clarifying Disclosure. At the request of the staff of the Ontario Securities Commission and in connection with a staff review, refiled two documents as follows: 1. The Company has refiled the Cobalt One Business Acquisition Report to include the auditor’s report for the financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2017. 2. The Company has also refiled the October 15, 2018 technical report for Iron Creek.
Apr. 8 - Present Refinery Opportunity at Shanghai Conference. In conjunction with this conference, Mr. Mell will be meeting with a number of potential investors to discuss restart scenarios for the First Cobalt Refinery in Ontario, Canada.
Conference participants include some of the world's largest cobalt miners, battery makers and electric vehicle companies. BNN Bloomberg - "We've got NDA's (Non-Disclosure Agreements) with 4 auto companies; a few miners. We've even got a capital provider willing to fund us.
May 1 - Announces Investment in eCobalt Shares. Private share purchase agreement, a total of 9,6M shares of eCobalt Solutions Inc. (“eCobalt”) (TSX:ECS) representing approximately 6% of the issued and outstanding shares, at a price of C$0.375 per Common Share.
The shares were acquired for investment purposes and may in future acquire or sell eCobalt shares without further announcement, subject to applicable regulations. In connection with the agreement, the Company intends to issue 21,265,809 common shares of First Cobalt at C$0.17.
May 2 - Applies for Removal from the ASX. FCC.V has experienced difficulty in raising capital either from new or existing shareholders on the ASX. FCC.V is based in North America and does not have any interests in any Australian cobalt projects or any material Australian business.
May 8 -Advances Refinery Commissioning Strategy. Undertake a scoping-level capacity study to estimate the capital and operating requirements for various production scenarios using cobalt hydroxide as feedstock for the restart of the First Cobalt Refinery in Ontario, Canada.
Results of the study are expected before the end of the month to provide a better understanding of production constraints and opportunities under various operating scenarios. The Company also announces it will settle an aggregate of C$364,130 of indebtedness owed to an arms'-length creditor of its wholly-owned subsidiary, US Cobalt Inc., through the issuance of an aggregate of 2,427,530 common shares ("Common Shares").
Cobalt and Copper prices continues not to be friendly to FCC.V's valuation. However, the company has been active in the last six months.
Preliminary Base Shelf Prospectus
FCC.V disclosed the filling on December 19th 2018. As per release: "This filling allows it to make offerings of common shares, subscription receipts, warrants or any combination thereof of up to C$20 million during the 25-month period".
This by no mean is insignificant as it enables FCC.V to issue shares for payment thereby limiting its traditional financing activities. Hence, the decline in price thereafter as FCC.V sent a signal to the market that it would be creative in its approach to financing.
On March 4th 2019, FCC.V announced a non-brokered private placement of 11M shares at $0.18 for $2M - Warants at $0.27 cents. While some insider sales were noted after after the announcement, it appears that those were reinvested in the placement: both Mr. Matysek and Mell participated.
Also it was indicated that the proceeds of the placement would be to support ongoing work at the First Cobalt Refinery as well as general purposes.
FCC,V initiated the period by issuing a video about the Cobalt refinery (Oct. 25th), then began testing materials (Nov. 8, 2018) and reported positive results on January 30, 2019: 98% of cobalt successfully leached from cobalt hydroxide material. On April 3rd 2019, FCC.V announced the production of Battery Grade Cobalt Sulfate which was noted by the market. On May 8 2019, FCC.V disclosed a scoping-level capacity study to estimate the capital and operating requirements for various production scenarios using cobalt hydroxide as feedstock.
While the work toward the refinery is sensible as it is an asset that can potentially generate cash flow, the cobalt price has had an impact on refineries. Also, the idea that the Cobalt feed FCC.V is seeking might be from the DRC may run counter to the "ethical" value proposition: However, the advancement of the FCC.V's is important as it is an asset that will need to be leverage even if the supply would be from North America.
Considerable advancements were made and reported to the market. From the filings of the Technical Report, to the initiation of Permitting and Environmental Programs. In addition, the extension of the area (mineralization well below the high grade cobalt zone that formed the basis of a historic resource estimate by Noranda) and showing of Cobalt grade consistency along with the substantial presence of Copper were definite achievements.
However, the updated mineral resource estimate which was due at the end of March appears to be still outstanding but this is understandable...
ECobalt (ECS.V) Investment
The recent investment in eCobalt Shares was astute. The shelf prospectus (up to $20 M) initiated early in the period by FCC.V certainly enable this move. Canaccord put out a note on the event demonstrating the financial benefits and potential synergies for both FCC.V and ECS.V. As pointed out, a period of consolidation is inevitable given the current market condition. Can FCC.V be a challenger for the rest of ECS.V's shares?
Based on its activities in this period, FCC.V seems poised to be one of the major player in the North American Cobalt market.
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