First Cobalt Corp. (FCC.V) mission is to be the most sustainable producer of battery materials. The Company owns North America's only permitted cobalt refinery, a critical asset in the development and manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles. First Cobalt also owns the Iron Creek cobalt-copper project in Idaho, USA, as well as, several significant cobalt and silver properties in the Canadian Cobalt Camp..
Oct. 19 -Begins Geophysics Program at Idaho Project. Objective is to refine follow-up drill targets further east along strike of the cobalt-rich zone intersected over a 300m vertical depth (incl. 0.20% Co over 12.0m true thickness) as well as the western extension of the copper-rich zone (incl. 3.40% Cu and 0.10% Co over 2.6m true thickness).
Oct. 29 -First Cobalt Releases Refinery Life Cycle Assessment: A primary objective of this study is to assist in project development and improvement with a secondary motivation to assist with strategic planning. The intended audience for this study is broad and includes parties across the cobalt value chain, both upstream and downstream.
Carbon footprint 50% lower than benchmark cobalt facility. The report concludes that the environmental impacts associated with refining cobalt at First Cobalt’s facility will be materially lower than the published impacts of a leading Chinese refiner. In First Cobalt’s production process, the carbon footprint generated through the production of one kilogram of cobalt sulfate is 1.58 kg CO2 eq compared to 3.25 kg CO2 eq for a benchmark refinery in Tongxiang, China.
Nov. 10 - Provides Refinery Project Update:
FCC.V intends to finalize a supply agreement with Glencore on mutually agreeable terms while securing additional feedstock from other miners of ethically produced, high-quality cobalt hydroxide. The Company does not anticipate any difficulties securing sufficient feedstock for the Refinery’s nameplate capacity of 5,000 tonnes per annum.
Nov. 23 -Files Preliminary Base Shelf Prospectus & Restated Financial Statements: Filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus allowing the Company to make offerings of common shares, subscription receipts, warrants, units or any combination thereof for up to an aggregate total of C$20 million during the 25-month period.
As part of a review of its consolidated financial statements, the Company determined that the impairment
charge taken relating to the Cobalt Camp mineral assets was understated. The Company had previously carried
the value of the Cobalt Camp at its estimated recoverable value, which was determined with respect to
consideration in comparable market transactions and historical exploration costs incurred. The Company has
re-evaluated this position and has determined that the Cobalt Camp should be further impaired to $1.
Nov. 27- Files Final Base Shelf Prospectus
Nov. 30 - Begins Geophysics Survey in Cobalt Camp: Strong Silver Market Spurs Renewed Interest. Objective is to generate 3D imaging of cobalt and silver veins for future drill targeting at Kerr . Targets generated by the geophysical program will be drilled following this program, using proceeds of a recent flow through financing
Dec. 16 - Receives $10 Million Investment from Federal and Provincial Governments: This critical funding will allow the Company to accelerate the commissioning and expansion of its Refinery in Northern Ontario, attract new investment, and execute against its strategic business plan.
Government of Canada: $5 million interest-free loan, through the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario; Government of Ontario: $5 million non-repayable grant, through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. Once complete, the facility will be the first of its kind in North America, capable of producing 25,000 tonnes of battery-grade cobalt sulfate annually, which could be five percent of the global market for refined cobalt.
Dec. 21 - Signs Letter of Intent with Kuya Silver for Cobalt Camp Exploration Assets. To sell a portion of its silver and cobalt mineral exploration assets and form a joint venture to advance the remaining mineral assets.
The parties intend to complete the transaction in Q1 2021, at which point Kuya will own the Kerr Assets outright. The companies will form a 70-30 joint venture on the Remaining Assets once conditions outlined above are satisfied.
Jan. 12 - Achieves Key Milestone with Refinery Feedstock Arrangements: Announce long-term cobalt hydroxide feed arrangements with Glencore AG and IXM SA, a fully owned subsidiary of CMOC, which will provide a total of 4,500 tonnes of contained cobalt per year to the First Cobalt Refinery commencing in 2022.
Supply agreements represent 90% of projected capacity for the Canadian refinery, yielding 22,250 tonnes per year of battery grade cobalt sulfate. Offtake discussions, financing and permitting are on schedule, supporting commencement of construction in mid-2021.
Jan. 14 - Announces Increase in Bought Deal Offering to $8.5 Million: 27,420,000 units of the Company, on a “bought deal” at $0.31 per Unit for aggregate gross proceeds to First Cobalt of $8,500,200 (Warrant 0.50 cents). The closing date of the Offering is scheduled to be on or about January 21, 2021,. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering for the advancement of the First Cobalt Refinery and for general corporate purposes.
Jan. 22 - Cobalt Closes $9.8 Million Financing. Conducted by a syndicate of underwriters led by Eight Capital, CIBC World Markets Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp., Red Cloud Securities Inc. and Mackie Research Capital Corporation.
Jan. 26 - Commences Pre-Construction Activities; Detailed engineering and procurement for long lead order equipment, notably the cobalt crystallizer as well as solvent extraction and filtering equipment. Pilot plant testwork is ongoing to assess further improvements to the refinery flowsheet. Cobalt solvent extraction is scheduled to commence at the beginning of February and is expected to be completed by February 20. The Company is negotiating an engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contract with Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc.
Receives $4.5M from Warrant Exercises: $16M in working capital, including $4.5M in early warrant exercises and $9M in net proceeds from the financing completed January 22. In addition to the working capital position, the Company announced a $10M investment by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario towards the refinery capital costs and an additional $4M in immediate consideration will be received upon closing of a silver transaction.
Feb. 9 - Strengthens Team: Regan Watts as VP, Corporate Affairs and Dr. George Puvvada,Refinery Technical Manager.
Feb. 17 - Studies Battery Recycling for Nickel, Copper and Cobalt Recovery: begun a study of black mass material from recycled batteries as a supplemental source of feed for its hydrometallurgical refinery located north of Toronto.
The Refinery previously recovered nickel, copper and cobalt and this study will leverage these processes and existing infrastructure. Incremental capital costs to modify the flow sheet to treat black mass and recover other battery raw materials are expected to be substantially lower than a greenfield project.
Feb. 22 - Establishes $10 Million ATM Program and Announces Warrant Acceleration: Established an at-the-market equity program (the "ATM Program") that allows the Company to issue up to $10,000,000 of common shares (the "Common Shares") from treasury to the public from time to time, at the Company's discretion.
The Company intends to use the net proceeds from any sales of Common Shares under the ATM Program, if any, for the advancement of its Refinery Project located in Ontario, Canada and for general corporate purposes.
Warrant Acceleration: Under the terms of the warrants issued as part of the Company's March 2019 and February 2020 private placements, in the event that the closing price of the Common Shares on the TSXV is equal to or greater than $0.37 per Common Share for a period of not less than 10 consecutive trading days (the "Acceleration Trigger"), the Company is permitted to accelerate the expiry date of each set of warrants to a date that is twenty (20) calendar days from the date notice of such acceleration is provided to the holders of warrants. The Acceleration Trigger has been met as of market close today and the Company has elected to accelerate the warrant expiry dates.
Feb. 23 - Geophysical Survey Identifies New Drill Targets at Idaho Project: A drilling program is currently being designed to test for the extensions of the Iron Creek cobalt-copper resource. The areas with high chargeability anomalies considered to be associated with mineralization along this horizon have been prioritized for this program.
Mar. 1 - Complete Cobalt Camp Transaction with Kuya Silver: Kuya has acquired a 100% interest in the properties in the Kerr silver district along with an option to earn a 70% interest in the remainder of FCC.V’s Ontario land package.
Key terms are as follows: 1) Kuya acquired a 100% interest in the Kerr area properties (the “Kerr Assets”) for $4M. 2) Kuya may elect to exercise an option to earn up to a 70% interest in First Cobalt’s remaining Cobalt Camp assets (the “Remaining Assets”) over the next six months, upon payment of an additional $1M with further payments required to reach the 70% interest level 3) Kuya will make a milestone payment of $2.5M upon completion of a maiden mineral resource estimate of at least 10M silver equivalent ounces on either of the Kerr Assets or the Remaining Assets. The payment increases to $5M should the resource exceed 25M silver equivalent ounces. 4) First Cobalt will spend $1M of the flow through proceeds it raised in August 2020 on eligible expenditures, split equally between the Kerr Assets and the Remaining Assets 5) First Cobalt shall have a right of first offer to refine base metal concentrates produced at First Cobalt’s refinery as well as a back-in right for any discovery of a primary cobalt deposit on the Remaining Assets.
The $4M payment received today was comprised of $1M in cash and 1,437,470 Kuya common shares. $0.5M of the cash consideration will be held in escrow pending completion of certain post-closing obligations. Future contingent payments described above may be paid in cash or shares, at Kuya’s election.
The option to acquire an interest in the Remaining Assets can be exercised by Kuya by satisfying the following earn-in conditions: 50% interest by incurring $2 million in expenditures and making a payment to First Cobalt of $300,000 in year 1; 60% interest by incurring $1 million in expenditures and a payment of $350,000 in year 2; and 70% interest by incurring $1 million in expenditures and a payment of $350,000 in year 3. Going forward, the Kerr Assets and the Remaining Assets will be referred to as the Silver Kings Project.
Mar. 16 - Announces Warrant Proceeds and Leadership Team Addition: Received a further $1.92M in cash proceeds from warrants subsequent to an acceleration notice provided to holders on February 23, 2021.
Leadership Team Addition: Cora Klein has joined First Cobalt as Head of Investor Relations.
Mar. 26 - Issue Shares to Glencore in Repayment of Loan: Entered into a loan amendment agreement with Glencore AG on March 25, 2021 to repay an existing loan of approximately US$5.5M of debt by issuing common shares of FCC.V.
The common shares to be issued to Glencore in connection with the repayment of the loan represents approximately 4.8% (23,8M common shares at a deemed price of $0.29 per share) of the current outstanding shares.
Mar. 29 - Concludes Long Term Offtake Contract for 100% of Production: signed a flexible, long-term, offtake agreement with Stratton Metal Resources Limited ("Stratton Metals") for the sale of future cobalt sulfate production from the First Cobalt Refinery located in Ontario, Canada.
1) FCC.V will have the option to sell up to 100% of its annual cobalt sulfate production to Stratton Metals once its refinery is in production. Quantities will be determined by FCC.V in advance of each calendar year and are subject to a minimum annual quantity; 2) Provides flexibility for First Cobalt to enter into offtake contracts with OEMs and their suppliers, reducing amounts made available to Stratton Metals. 3) Contract term of five years matches the term of FCC.Vs feed supply agreements and anticipated term of its credit facility; 4) Sale price will be based on prevailing market price at shipment.
Mar. 30 - Advances Debt Financing: Entered into an exclusivity agreement with a leading financial institution (the “Lender”) for US$45M in debt financing to fund the capital cost relating to the recommissioning and expansion of the First Cobalt Refinery. The exclusivity period provides the basis for which the Lender will complete its remaining due diligence requirements prior to the negotiation of definitive documentations.
The financing process, which is being led by CIBC Capital Markets, is expected to be completed prior to announcement of a formal construction decision. Permitting remains on schedule, supporting a commencement of construction in mid-2021.
Apr. 8 - Appoints Vice President Commercial to Advance Offtake Strategy: Michael Insulan as Vice-President, Commercial. In this capacity, hr will have overall responsibility for marketing of the Company’s refined cobalt sulfate production to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers and battery cell makers. He will also be responsible for marketing recycled cobalt, nickel, lithium and other battery materials produced by First Cobalt Canadian refinery under a proposed Phase 2 expansion to refine black mass recovered from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries.
First Cobalt is in active discussions with several EV manufacturers and other battery supply chain participants to provide refined cobalt material. Based in Europe, Mr. Insulan will assume responsibility for executing on this strategic priority with a focus on the major battery suppliers and automotive OEMs.
Incentive Plan Grants: The Company has issued 218,116 Deferred Share Units (DSUs) to directors as compensation for their services. The Company has also issued 115,000 Restricted Share Units (RSUs), 1,575,000 Performance Share Units (PSUs) and incentive grants to employees to purchase an aggregate of 575,000 common shares of First Cobalt exercisable at yesterday's closing price of $0.345 for a period of five years.
Apr. 28 - First Cobalt Granted U.S. Department of Energy Funding for Idaho Cobalt Project: Awarded funding from the US Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI), an Energy Innovation Hub, for research on innovative mineral processing techniques for its Iron Creek copper-cobalt project in Idaho.
The funding from CMI will consist of US$0.6M over a two-year period, with an in-kind match from the Company, as part of a total US$1.2M program. The work is yet another executed step in First Cobalt’s strategic plan to become the world’s most sustainable producer of battery materials.
First Cobalt is collaborating with the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy at the Colorado School of Mines to optimize the recovery of cobalt from First Cobalt’s Iron Creek Project.
May 11 - Doubles its Idaho Cobalt-Copper Land Position: Increased the size of its land position surrounding its Iron Creek Project in Idaho, USA by more than 100%. By acquiring mining claims to the west of its existing cobalt-copper project, the Company expanded its land package to over 1,600 hectares.
The West Fork property consists of 103 exploration claims and was acquired from DG Resource Management for a combination of cash and 250,000 shares. The seller retained a 1% net smelter royalty, half of which may be purchased by the Company for C$0.75M, with First Cobalt also retaining a right of first refusal for the sale of the remaining 0.5%
May 17 - First Cobalt Provides Update on Canadian Refinery Commissioning: a) Contract to construct the cobalt sulfate crystallizer has been awarded and will be built in the United States b) New Permit to Take Water issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, allowing the project team to mobilize to site to restore power to the refinery complex and prepare for upcoming construction activities c) First Cobalt’s owner’s team continues to grow with the addition of a Site Services Superintendent and Environmental Superintendent
May 25 - Completes a Second Cobalt Transaction in Idaho: Expanded its land position in Idaho for the second time in a month, increasing its position around its Iron Creek cobalt-copper project in Idaho, USA.
The Company announced an earn-in agreement with Phoenix Copper Limited for 224 hectares of property, expanding its land position to over 1,820 hectares covering the strike extent of strata hosting mineralization.
May 27 - Files First Quarter 2021 Financial Results: a) Cash of $16.0 million and working capital of $20.2 million as of March 31, 2021; In April and May 2021, the Company has issued a total of 965,500 common shares under the ATM Program at an average price of $0.3565 per share, providing gross proceeds of $344,162.
June 24 - Commences Idaho Exploration Program: $2.5M exploration program at its wholly-owned Iron Creek cobalt-copper project in the United States. The Company’s objective is to double the size of its resource over the next two drill seasons as interest grows in a U.S. domestic cobalt supply to support a growing electric vehicle market.
July 13 - Provides Update on Canadian Refinery Commissioning: Remains on schedule for commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2022, at which time it will become the only refiner of battery-grade cobalt sulfate in North America.
1) First Cobalt's project team continues to grow with the addition of a Health, Safety and Logistics Superintendent and a Health, Safety, Environment and Training Coordinator; 2) Recommissioning of plant utilities has been ongoing, including regulatory inspections and maintenance of electric power supply systems as well as inspection and maintenance of main water supply piping and pumping systems; 3) Geotechnical drilling is underway to gather analytical information for detailed design of the foundations for the new solvent extraction building, cobalt sulfate crystallizer building addition and effluent treatment facility; 4) Improvements to the refinery access road have been completed to allow for the heavier traffic of transport trucks; 5) Received the permit to take water and remaining two permit amendments (air/noise permit and industrial sewage works permit) and site closure plan have been submitted to regulators for review, with initial feedback received; 6) Project activities continue to be funded from a healthy $14 million treasury as the debt financing process progresses through the technical due diligence phase; 7) FCC.V is assessing a longer term strategy to produce nickel sulfate to a future "Battery Park" all within the existing refinery footprint
The planned US$45 million debt facility is in the due diligence phase and combined with current working capital and committed government investments, is expected to supply the remaining funding required to bring the project to completion. Until such time, the Company has $14 million in working capital to fund its activities, in addition to $10 million in government funding commitments.
October 2020, FCC.V began the geophysical program in Idaho. By February 2021, the company announced that the geophysical Survey identified new drill targets. In April 2021, FCC.V received a grant of $0.6M from the US Department of Energy's Critical Material Institute (CMI) for research on innovative mineral processing related to Iron Creek.
May 2021, FCC.V doubled Idaho Cobalt-Copper Land Position. Within two weeks, FCC.V increased its position again, this time with a deal with Phoenix Copper Limited for 224 hectares of property.
June 2021, FCC.V begun a $2.5M exploration program including 4,500 metres of drilling at Iron Creek.
December 2020, a LOI with Kuya Silver for Cobalt Camp Assets was made public. The intent sell a portion of its silver and cobalt mineral exploration assets and form a joint venture to advance the remaining mineral assets. Kuya will own the Kerr Assets and the companies will form a 70-30 joint venture on the Remaining Assets once conditions are met.
March 2021, the Kuya Silver transaction was completed with the following conditions: 1) Kuya acquired a 100% interest in the Kerr area properties for $4M. 2) Kuya may elect to exercise an option to earn up to a 70% interest in First Cobalt’s remaining Cobalt Camp assets over the next six months, upon payment of an additional $1M with further payments required to reach the 70% interest level 3) Kuya will make a milestone payment of $2.5M upon completion of a maiden mineral resource estimate of at least 10M silver equivalent ounces on either of the Kerr Assets or the Remaining Assets. The payment increases to $5M should the resource exceed 25M silver equivalent ounces. 4) First Cobalt will spend $1M of the flow through proceeds it raised in August 2020 on eligible expenditures, split equally between the Kerr Assets and the Remaining Assets 5) First Cobalt shall have a right of first offer to refine base metal concentrates produced at First Cobalt’s refinery as well as a back-in right for any discovery of a primary cobalt deposit on the Remaining Assets.
October 2020, FCC.V released a Life Cycle Assessment. A key finding was that the production process will be significantly greener than a leading Chinese refiner (1.58 kg CO2 eq vs. 3.25 kg CO2 eq ).
November 2020. FCC.V reported that it switched from a toll agreement to a long term buying contract with Glencore. The company also reported that Bench scale testing of cobalt hydroxide feedstock from Glencore’s Katanga Operation (KCC) yielded recoveries in excess of 97%, much higher than the 93% recovery assumption (May 2020).
January 2021, FCC.V announced a long-term cobalt hydroxide feed arrangements with Glencore AG and IXM SA, a subsidiary of CMOC, for a total of 4,500 tonnes of contained cobalt per year starting in 2022. Also disclosed was the initation of pre-construction activities including procurement of cobalt crystalizer, and ongoing pilot plant test work.
February 2021, FCC.V reported that it was initiating studies on Battery Recycling For Nickel, Copper and Cobalt (Black Mass). Note that FCC.V's Refinery has previously recovered Nickel, copper and cobalt in the past.
March 2021, FCC.V disclosed a long term offtake agreement with Stratton Metal Resources limited with option to sell up to 100% of Cobalt Sulfate Production based on FCC discretion (subject to a minimal qty) for 5 year.
Recently, First Cobalt put out a detailed project update: 1) First Cobalt's project team continues to grow with the addition of a Health, Safety and Logistics Superintendent and a Health, Safety, Environment and Training Coordinator; 2) Recommissioning of plant utilities has been ongoing, including regulatory inspections and maintenance of electric power supply systems as well as inspection and maintenance of main water supply piping and pumping systems; 3) Geotechnical drilling is underway to gather analytical information for detailed design of the foundations for the new solvent extraction building, cobalt sulfate crystallizer building addition and effluent treatment facility; 4) Improvements to the refinery access road have been completed to allow for the heavier traffic of transport trucks; 5) Received the permit to take water and remaining two permit amendments (air/noise permit and industrial sewage works permit) and site closure plan have been submitted to regulators for review, with initial feedback received; 6) Project activities continue to be funded from a healthy $14 million treasury as the debt financing process progresses through the technical due diligence phase; 7) FCC.V is assessing a longer term strategy to produce nickel sulfate to a future "Battery Park" all within the existing refinery footprint
November 2020, FCC.V filed a based shelf prospectus for up to an aggregate total of C$20M for a 25-month period.
December 2020, FCC.V received $10M investment from Federal and Provincial government; Government of Canada: $5 million interest-free loan; Government of Ontario: $5 million non-repayable grant,
January 2021, A $5M bought deal at $0.31 cents (warrant $0.50 cents) was announced. The offer was raised to $8.5M within a day. A week later, a $9.8M bought deal closed which is almost double the original amount. Also in the same month, FCC.V reported the reception of $4.5M through the exercises of warrant.
February 2021. FCC.V disclosed a $10M ATM Program and announced the accelerations of warrant ($0.37 cents) trigger.
March 2021, $1.92M were received from Warrant Acceleration. FCC.V also announced that will issue shares to Glencore as loan repayment of $5.5M (23.8M at 0.29 cents). In addition, the company disclosed advancing debt financing; an exclusive agreement for $45M to fund capital cost related to recommissioning and expansion of the refinery.
May 2021, FCC.V disclosed that in April and May 2021, 0.96M shares were issued at ATM averaging $0.3565 for $0.3M.
July 2021, negotiation on $45M to fund capital cost for recommission and expansion of the refinery are still ongoing.
Regan Watts as VP, Corporate Affairs and Dr. George Puvvada,Refinery Technical Manager (February 2021). Cora Klein as Head of Investor Relations (March 2021). Michael Insulan VP Commercial (April 2021)
April 2021, Stock options were granted at $0.345 cents
First Cobalt continues to execute and advance its business on multiple fronts namely 1) recommissioning and expending the refinery. 2) unlocking value from the Silver Cobalt Camp and 3) advancing exploration at Iron Creek.
The plan to recommission and expand the refinery are well underway. FCC.V has provided multiple update demonstrating its progress. However, FCC.V still needs a $45M injection to be able to complete this objective. To date, the company has been very successful in raising funds from the capital market ($9.8M), the Federal Government ($5M) and Provincial Government ($5M). FCC.V also managed to work out an all share loan repayment with Glencore ($5.5M).
2) Silver Cobalt Camp
FCC.V has unlocked value from the Silver Cobalt Camp with the sales of the Kerr Assets to Kuya. An initial $4M was obtained with the possibility of incremental funds (>$3.5M) based on optionality and size of the resource estimate.
3) Iron Creek
FCC.V has resumed activities at Iron Creek, specifically a $2.5M exploration program including 4,500 metres. FCC.V also accessed a grant ($0.6M) from the US Department of Energy and is also working with the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy at the Colorado School of Mines to optimize the recovery of cobalt from Iron Creek Project.
Recently the stock as been trending down which is not reflective of the progress made to date. However, there are still some risks to this venture as a sizable amount of funding is needed to move it forward and beyond its initial goals.
Granted, First Cobalt has undertaken a based self prospectus of up to $20M and an ATM $10M. Thus far, only 0.3M were reported to be raised from the ATM but the potential for nearly $30M is present. Perhaps as a contingency plan?
Eight Capital has a price target of $0.65 cents. Hence. the potential upside from today's valuation is high. However so is the current share count (495M) which could be a factor for future financing and incremental initiatives.
At the last AGM, FCC.V passed a proposition permitting a consolidation between (1 to 5 and 7) as it see fit in the future.
Again, timing of the potential consolidation in relation to the delivery of the funding package remains an issue. Will funding be tied to a consolidation? Will funding or a consolidation occur first? Both at once? Who knows?
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