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Kobalt

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DeZwarteRidder
2
Gaat de prijs van lithium en kobalt exploderen door de elektrische auto?

Met de opkomst van elektrische auto's komen de grondstoffen die voor accu's nodig zijn ook in een rally. Er is al angst dat we lithium tekort gaan komen.
Er is in de lithiumindustrie een ommekeer gaande, schrijft de Financial Times. Er wordt niet meer gesproken over de vraag óf er meer vraag naar lithium gaat komen in de komende jaren. "We hebben het al over distributie en of we, als industrie, genoeg kunnen leveren", zegt John Kanellitsas van mijnbedrijf Lithium Americas tegen de Britse zakenkrant.
De lithiumprijs is sinds 2015 al meer dan verdubbeld, omdat de vraag naar de voor batterijen belangrijke grondstof steeds verder begint toe te nemen. Dat zit hem bijvoorbeeld in de uitdijende smartphone-industrie, miljarden telefoons hebben een accu nodig. En de volgende golf moet komen van de elektrische auto, waarin natuurlijk nog veel grotere en krachtigere accu's zitten.
Een Volkswagen-vertegenwoordiger vertelde op een lithium-conferentie dat de voorraden van lithium en een andere belangrijke 'batterijgrondstof' kobalt de grootste zorg zijn voor de automaker. Als de elektrische auto inderdaad zo groot wordt als voorspeld, zouden we misschien wel eens lithium tekort kunnen gaan komen.
Kobalt werd dit jaar al 70 procent duurder
De exploderende vraag naar de grondstoffen voor batterijen zorgt er dus ook voor dat die flink in prijs stijgen. Naast lithium geldt dat ook voor het wat minder bekende kobalt. Dat werd alleen in dit jaar al 70 procent meer waard. Een populaire belegging dus, maar het is nogal moeilijk om je geld in kobalt te steken, schrijft The Wall Street Journal.
De Amerikaanse krant sprak met Robert Mitchell, die met zijn beleggingsfonds voor miljoenen dollars aan fysiek kobalt in heeft geslagen. In totaal is het inmiddels 56 miljoen dollar waard en om de paar maanden reist Mitchell af naar een warenhuis waarin de grondstof opgeslagen ligt.
Hij zegt dat hij weinig anders kan dan fysiek kobalt kopen en opslaan, omdat het heel moeilijk is om op de markten een financiële positie in te nemen op de kobaltprijs. Er wordt nog altijd meer in fysiek kobalt gehandeld dan in futures op de grondstof. Er zijn ook maar weinig spelers op de markt, die daardoor erg volatiel is.
Beleggen in bedrijven die kobalt produceren, is ook geen sterk alternatief, omdat die vaak blootstelling hebben aan de prijzen van andere metalen als koper en nikkel hebben. Kobalt is daar namelijk een bijproduct van.

www.finanzen.nl/grondstoffen/nieuws/G...
DeZwarteRidder
0
oude naam: Formation Metals:
--------------------------------------------------
Project Overview
The Idaho Cobalt Project (ICP)

eCobalt (the Company)’s primary asset, the 100% owned Idaho Cobalt Project, remains the only advanced stage, near term, environmentally permitted, primary cobalt deposit in the United States. The ICP will ethically produce environmentally sound battery grade cobalt salts, made safely, responsibly, and transparently in the United States.

The ICP is comprised of the Mine/Mill (M/M) site located in Lemhi County, Idaho, near the town of Salmon, Idaho and the Cobalt Production Facility (CPF), a stand-alone hydrometallurgical facility expected to be located in Southern Idaho. The CPF will process concentrates from the M/M into cobalt, copper and gold end products. The project is slated to produce the equivalent of 1,500 tons of high purity cobalt sulfate annually over a projected mine life of 12.5 years.

The ICP is fully permitted having received a final Environmental Impact Statement and positive Records of Decision from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Forest Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A Feasibility Study on the ICP completed in 2008 allowed the Company to finance the initial construction of the project. To date approximately 90% of the earthworks have been completed at the minesite.

The Company invested US$65.3 million completing two phases of the ICP construction program that commenced in June 2011 and completed in December 2012.

Approximately $16M worth of long lead time equipment was previously purchased and is stored in warehouse and staging areas outside of the town of Salmon, ready for transportation to the millsite. This equipment represents all major components of the mill and concentrator, and includes the ball mill, flotation cells, hoppers, grizzlies, etc. The project was placed on care and maintenance in May 2013 due to depressed financial markets and declining commodity prices.

By July 2014 financial markets had improved significantly and it became apparent that cobalt sulfate, used in lithium-ion batteries, was going to significantly outperform the market for cobalt used in super-alloys. Rechargeable batteries represent 49% of cobalt consumption (in the form of sulfate) and the market is growing at a compounded annual rate of 11.7%. As a result eCobalt announced a change of direction aimed at taking advantage of the rapidly expanding electric vehicle, grid storage, and renewable energy sectors.

Positive internal studies resulted in the commissioning of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on the ICP in January 2015 to evaluate viability of producing cobalt sulfate heptahydrate for the rechargeable battery sector. Previous engineering and feasibility level technical reports were completed based on the production of high purity cobalt (HPC) metal for critical applications in the jet turbines, aero-engines and aerospace sector. Management continues to maintain the future option of producing HPC at the CPF.

*Bankable Feasibility Study defined in accordance with AACE International Class 3 Cost Estimation Classification System. Class 3 estimates are typically prepared to support full project funding requests for internal and/or external investment.

Positive results from the PEA and additional metallurgical test work conducted in 2015, resulted in the commissioning of a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS)* on the ICP, currently in progress. In addition, positive results from additional metallurgical testwork to produce cobalt sulfate heptahydrate were announced in March 2016. These results are expected to be included in the BFS.

Contingent upon the successful conclusion of the BFS and subsequent mine financing, re-commencement of construction will start immediately with initial production expected to follow within 13 months ramping up to full production 8 months later (21 months from start of construction to full production).

The ICP remains America’s sole primary, near term, cobalt producer.
DeZwarteRidder
0
Conclusion

My top five cobalt miners includes a mix of established diversified miners with large cobalt production (China Molybdenum, Sherritt International, and Glencore), and two purer play cobalt projects with very large cobalt reserves, but not yet in production (Katanga Mining and Fortune Minerals). Whilst the mix is not as pure and simple as the lithium miners, due to the fact the cobalt industry has been a by-product industry in the past. To be a buyer of China Moly, investors would need to be positive on the outlook for molybdenum and tungsten; for Sherritt, you would need to be positive on nickel; for Glencore and Katanga copper and for Fortune, gold and bismuth have a lesser importance. My number one favorite right now is Katanga Mining with China Moly as second, and my favorite small cap is Tiger Resources or Fortune Minerals; however, all require some patience.

Should the cobalt spot price (and in some cases the nickel, copper, and molybdenum prices) continue to rise strongly in 2017, I expect strong gains from my top 5 cobalt miners, especially the current producers, as has already occurred in the second half of 2016. Conservative investors could stick to the producers, and more aggressive investors could also target the near-term producers and the explorers.

The key for me in 2017 is the likelihood of cobalt being in deficit and the cobalt price spiking higher. I am also expecting EVs to become increasingly popular globally, which will be a strong tailwind for cobalt. I am positive on copper and nickel prices going forward, which should help the diversified cobalt miners in my top five.

Finally, I think some small positions in the purer play cobalt juniors can make sense, as they can benefit if only cobalt (and not nickel, copper, molybdenum) price rises, provided they are economically viable and progressing towards production.

As usual all comments are welcome.

Disclosure: I am/we are long CHINA MOLYBDENUM (HK:3993), KATANGA MINING (TSXV:KAT), COBALT BLUE (ASX:COB), BROKEN HILL MINING (ASX:BPL), FORTUNE MINERALS (TSX:FT), TIGER RESOURCES (NYSE:TGS).

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

seekingalpha.com/article/4032657-top-...
aandeeltje!
1
quote:

DeZwarteRidder schreef op 12 jun 2017 om 15:40:


Gaat de prijs van lithium en kobalt exploderen door de elektrische auto?

Met de opkomst van elektrische auto's komen de grondstoffen die voor accu's nodig zijn ook in een rally. Er is al angst dat we lithium tekort gaan komen.
Er is in de lithiumindustrie een ommekeer gaande, schrijft de Financial Times. Er wordt niet meer gesproken over de vraag óf er meer vraag naar lithium gaat komen in de komende jaren. "We hebben het al over distributie en of we, als industrie, genoeg kunnen leveren", zegt John Kanellitsas van mijnbedrijf Lithium Americas tegen de Britse zakenkrant.
De lithiumprijs is sinds 2015 al meer dan verdubbeld, omdat de vraag naar de voor batterijen belangrijke grondstof steeds verder begint toe te nemen. Dat zit hem bijvoorbeeld in de uitdijende smartphone-industrie, miljarden telefoons hebben een accu nodig. En de volgende golf moet komen van de elektrische auto, waarin natuurlijk nog veel grotere en krachtigere accu's zitten.
Een Volkswagen-vertegenwoordiger vertelde op een lithium-conferentie dat de voorraden van lithium en een andere belangrijke 'batterijgrondstof' kobalt de grootste zorg zijn voor de automaker. Als de elektrische auto inderdaad zo groot wordt als voorspeld, zouden we misschien wel eens lithium tekort kunnen gaan komen.
Kobalt werd dit jaar al 70 procent duurder
De exploderende vraag naar de grondstoffen voor batterijen zorgt er dus ook voor dat die flink in prijs stijgen. Naast lithium geldt dat ook voor het wat minder bekende kobalt. Dat werd alleen in dit jaar al 70 procent meer waard. Een populaire belegging dus, maar het is nogal moeilijk om je geld in kobalt te steken, schrijft The Wall Street Journal.
De Amerikaanse krant sprak met Robert Mitchell, die met zijn beleggingsfonds voor miljoenen dollars aan fysiek kobalt in heeft geslagen. In totaal is het inmiddels 56 miljoen dollar waard en om de paar maanden reist Mitchell af naar een warenhuis waarin de grondstof opgeslagen ligt.
Hij zegt dat hij weinig anders kan dan fysiek kobalt kopen en opslaan, omdat het heel moeilijk is om op de markten een financiële positie in te nemen op de kobaltprijs. Er wordt nog altijd meer in fysiek kobalt gehandeld dan in futures op de grondstof. Er zijn ook maar weinig spelers op de markt, die daardoor erg volatiel is.
Beleggen in bedrijven die kobalt produceren, is ook geen sterk alternatief, omdat die vaak blootstelling hebben aan de prijzen van andere metalen als koper en nikkel hebben. Kobalt is daar namelijk een bijproduct van.

www.finanzen.nl/grondstoffen/nieuws/G...


Ok maar als kobalt explodeert wordt koper en nikkel een bijproduct. Bij AMG was Li een bijproduct in die zin niet letterlijk chemisch maar kwam mee uit de grond....het hoofdproduct is opeens niet meer hoofdproduct...
DeZwarteRidder
0
quote:

aandeeltje! schreef op 13 jun 2017 om 02:37:


Ik ga voor een gevestigde en een nieuwkomer, geen china.

Hou ons svp op de hoogte van je keuzes!
voda
1
Fast-growing market for electric vehicles lead to supply more cobalt

Business Live reported that the race is on to supply more of the cobalt needed for batteries in the fast-growing market for electric vehicles and that means fresh competition for the big players Glencore and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A pipeline of projects is looming in places including Australia, the US and Canada after cobalt prices more than doubled in the past year. Glencore produces almost a third of the world’s supply, mainly from the Congo, which is by far the biggest source, accounting for as much as 65%.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that among those backing new global developments are billionaire Mr Anil Agarwal and mining tycoon Mr Robert Friedland. They were aiming to capitalize as a battery boom sent demand for cobalt soaring more than 30 fold by 2030.

Mr Sam Riggall CEO of Friedland backed Clean TeQ Holdings, which is developing a USD 680 million cobalt, nickel and scandium project about 350km west of Sydney said that "There’s going to have to be a response that goes beyond Congo.” He added that “Congo’s tight grip on the market is a concern for battery producers to [car] makers. "They are desperately looking for sources of supply outside of Africa."

Mr Franck Schulders, Glencore’s head of cobalt marketing said in an interview the arrival of an era of battery-powered vehicles had already kick-started a period of unprecedented growth for the metal. Volkswagen and Ford were among car makers investing in electric vehicles and the whole market could be worth USD 244 billion by 2025, Goldman Sachs said in a late 2015 report.

Rising cobalt demand and flat supply in the 100,000 tonnes-a-year market opened a 1,500 tonne deficit in 2016 that could triple this year, said CRU Group. There were more than 370 undeveloped discoveries and at least a dozen viable projects outside Congo that could come online by 2023, CRU senior consultant Edward Spencer said in an e-mail.

Cobalt on the London Metal Exchange traded at about USD 32,000 a tonne at the end of 2016, up 36% from the previous year, and has rallied about 65% to more than USD 56,000 a tonne in 2017. That is equivalent to more than USD 25.40 a pound. They were likely to double in 2017 and could remain above USD 20 a pound until the end of the decade.

Source : Business Live
DeZwarteRidder
0
Katanga Mining Stock is Riding High on the Cobalt Price, More Upside Seen
Posted By SmallCapPower -
July 12, 2017

Katanga Mining Limited (TSX: KAT) shares should continue to climb on a robust cobalt price, a stronger copper price, and a possible early start of production

SmallCapPower | July 12, 2017: Holding the world’s largest cobalt reserves of 1.3 billion pounds (lbs), Katanga Mining Limited (TSX: KAT) continues to ride the strong upsurge in cobalt prices over the past one-and-half years. While the cobalt price has zoomed nearly three times over the mentioned period reaching almost US$30/lb, the share price of Katanga Mining has skyrocketed five to six times to reach $0.70 a share from about $0.14 on January 4, 2017. We believe there is more upside potential in Katanga Mining stock as the outlook for the cobalt price is robust on increasing usage in batteries, positive momentum in copper prices, and the possible early start of cobalt production in 4Q17.

Investment Thesis

Operates one of world’s largest copper and cobalt projects

Katanga Mining Limited, through its 75%-owned subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company SA (“KCC”), operates a large-scale copper-cobalt project at the Kamoto/Mashamba East mining complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Company suspended processing of copper and cobalt at the mine on September 11, 2015, and continued through 1Q17. Production at the mine is not expected to resume until the WOL Project is commissioned, expected in Q4 2017. As of December 31, 2016, the project holds the world’s largest reserves of cobalt at 1.3 billion lbs (124.7 MT @0.52 % Co) and high-grade copper reserves of 8.7 million lbs (124.7 @ 3.51% Cu).

Recently, Katanga Mining announced the ramping up of saleable production of cobalt to 30 ktpa (earlier 22 ktpa) by upgrading infrastructure.

As can be seen in the table, KAT’s reserves of 1.3 billion lbs are almost twice that of the second largest cobalt miner Lundin Mining, which has 670 million lbs. Market cap to total resources lbs of Katanga Mining stock is at 0.35X, lower than the producers Lundin Mining and First Quantum. We believe once Katanga Mining starts production in 4Q17 or early 2018, there is a potential for the multiple to go up to 1.0x, translating into significant potential upside in the share price of KAT from the current price of $0.70.

Strong demand for electric vehicles will continue to drive cobalt prices

As discussed above, Katanga Mining shares rallied strongly on rising cobalt prices and looks fairly valued at current levels. However as cobalt prices continue their upward momentum, the share price of Katanga Mining should also continue its upward momentum, as a small change in cobalt price will result in significant revenues and cash flows and the resulting valuation for KAT.

Global cobalt and lithium prices are being driven primarily by strong demand for electric vehicles. Cobalt is a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars, smart devices and other consumer electronics. According to the business intelligence company, CRU Group, global consumption for refined cobalt is estimated to reach 100kt in 2017 and is forecast to grow at an average rate of ~5% percent for the next 10 years. According to CRU, electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could reach 4.4 million in 2021 and ~6 million by 2025.

Outlook

Although Katanga Mining’s share price has risen sharply over the past six months, we believe there is further upside left as cobalt and copper prices are expected to continue their upward momentum. The commencement of production in 4Q17 will be the key short-term trigger for the stock.

Disclosure: Neither the author nor any of the principals at Small Cap Power, or their family members, own shares in any of the companies mentioned above.

smallcappower.com/analyst-articles/ka...
ruud71
0
Welke van de 2 volgende cobalt-miners is volgens jullie de beste optie?
Ecobalt of Fortune Minerals Limited?
DeZwarteRidder
0
quote:

ruud71 schreef op 17 jul 2017 om 09:18:


Welke van de 2 volgende cobalt-miners is volgens jullie de beste optie? Ecobalt of Fortune Minerals Limited?

Dan zul je eerst meer info moeten geven.

In het algemeen kan ik wel zeggen dat productie essentieel is.

Een junior kun je beter mijden als de pest.
ruud71
0
Maar gekozen voor Katanga Mining. Met alleen al 1,3 miljard lbs aan kobalt reserves en de produktielijn die in september weer opgestart gaat worden, verwacht ik dat er nog wat meet stijgingspotentieel voor de komende jaren in het vat zit.
DeZwarteRidder
0
quote:

ruud71 schreef op 23 jul 2017 om 16:48:


Maar gekozen voor Katanga Mining. Met alleen al 1,3 miljard lbs aan kobalt reserves en de produktielijn die in september weer opgestart gaat worden, verwacht ik dat er nog wat meet stijgingspotentieel voor de komende jaren in het vat zit.

Het probleem is natuurlijk dat door een grote productie van Katanga de kobaltprijs mogelijk weer omlaag gaat......

Katanga produceert trouwens meer koper dan kobalt.
DeZwarteRidder
0
An Update On Katanga Mining
Apr. 20, 2017 2:55 PM ET|
137 comments|
About: Katanga Mining Ltd. (KATFF), Includes: FTMDF, GLNCY
Matt Bohlsen

Investment advisor, portfolio strategy, growth at reasonable price
Marketplace
Trend Investing
(3,257 followers)
Summary

Glencore increased their stake in Katanga Mining from 75% to 86.33%.

Katanga Mining updated that the mine will now ramp to 30,000tpa cobalt (previously 22,000tpa). Copper production to ramp to 300,000tpa.

Katanga Mining updated that the mine will now re-start in September 2017 (previously 2018).

Katanga Mining (OTCPK:KATFF) - Price = CAD 0.38, USD 0.29

I first wrote about Katanga Mining back on January 1, 2017, when the stock was largely unknown to many investors and trading at just CAD 0.13 (USD 0.09) per share. For a background on the stock you can read my January 1, 2017, article "Katanga Mining Is A Potential Turnaround Story."

The key takeaways are the following:

Katanga Mining's Kamoto mine has large high grade copper and cobalt reserves in the Democratic Republic of Congo (NYSE:DRC).
Katanga has a 75% interest in the Kamoto copper-cobalt mine, the other 25% is owned by La Generale des Carrieres et des Mines (GCM) and La Société Immobilière du Congo (SIMCO) owns the other 25% (DRC Government company').
The mine has 90.9Mt proved and probable reserves, with very good average grades of 4.14% copper and 0.45% cobalt. Or 207.3Mt measured and indicated resource at an estimated grade of 3.53% copper and 0.52% cobalt.
The KOV open pit and Kamoto underground mine stopped production in 2015 due to the low copper prices, and is undergoing a modernization of the processing plant to significantly lower the cost of production.
The mine was expected to re-open in 2018, ramping to 300,000tpa copper and 22,000tpa cobalt production.
Glencore are backing Katanga with a huge loan, and previously had a 75% stake in the Katanga mining share float.

Since my January article the following significant events have changed:

The cobalt spot price has climbed very strongly as shown in the chart above, rising from around USD15/lb to USD25/lb.
Glencore (OTC:OTC:GLNCF) (OTCPK:GLNCY) increased their stake in Katanga Mining from 75% to 86.33%.
The Mashamba East open pit PFS has resulted in a 26.3 Mt increase in probable mineral reserves.
Katanga Mining updated that the mine will now ramp to 30,000tpa cobalt (previously 22,000tpa). Copper production will ramp to 300,000tpa.
Katanga Mining updated that the mine will now re-start in September 2017 (previously 2018).

Source: Katanga Mining March 2017 Technical report (309 pages)

Katanga's copper grade of 4.14% is very high

The chart below shows global copper grades averaging in 2017 around 1% and declining. With 90.9Mt Proved and Probable reserves at 4.14% copper grade, Katanga Mining has a world-class copper resource, with grades four times higher than average. The cobalt at 0.45% also is very good, and Katanga has the world's largest cobalt reserves.

Global copper grades declining and a copper deficit forecast later this decade

Source

Valuation

Katanga Mining is not currently producing. Their market cap is CAD 743m. The current market cap/lbs cobalt reserves ratio is just 0.47, one of the lowest among peers. Off course Katanga Mining debt is not included in this calculation, but neither is their copper. Fortune Minerals (OTCQX:FTMDF) has the third lowest ratio at 0.56.

Based on the latest updates from Katanga Mining my model has a price target for end 2019 at full production (300,00tpa Cu, 30,000tpa Co) of CAD 2.70. This is based on a copper price of USD 2.75/lb, and a much reduced cost of production to USD 0.87/lb net of cobalt by-product credits (due to cobalt's stellar price rise). I based the 0.87/lb on comments from Glencore's CEO at the Q1 earnings call conference discussing their group wide copper cost of production. If I'm more conservative and estimate USD 1.25/lb cost of production then the price target drops to CAD 1.60. So for now my price target is a range from CAD 1.60-2.70 until I get more clarity on the forecast or actual cost of production.

Long-term debt is at CAD4.51b as at end 2016, with interest expense of CAD$483m pa.

Risks

Please refer back to my January 1 article, linked at the top.

Conclusion

Things just keep getting better for Katanga Mining and their world-class copper-cobalt mine in the DRC. The cobalt spot price has almost doubled since January, their reserves have been increased, and their planned cobalt output has been increased from 22,000 to 30,000tpa. Most importantly their re-start has been brought forward three months to September 2017.

The stock price has tripled in the past three months as a result.

Given the copper price has only moved sideways, should copper prices move higher that will help further. However, I think we may have to wait for 2019 or 2020 for copper to really boom based on the demand and supply picture.

The stock still has plenty of risk as it operates in the DRC and has a mountain of debt. However with production set to re-start in only a mater of five months, the current picture looks very bright indeed. Glencore seems to agree, having recently increased their stake in Katanga Mining.

As usual all comments are welcome.

Disclosure: I am/we are long KATANGA MINING (TSX:KAT), FORTUNE MINERALS (TSX:FT), GLENCORE (LSX:GLEN).

seekingalpha.com/article/4063861-upda...
DeZwarteRidder
0
Lithium scarce, zinc plentiful

A huge deposit of lithium was discovered in 2013 near Rock Springs, Wyoming, where 25 square miles were estimated to contain some 228,000 tons of lithium potentially worth half a trillion dollars. But a Wyoming State Geological Survey report in 2016 suggested the concentration of lithium in the vast deposit is lower than that in other lithium mines worldwide, casting doubt on the enterprise commercially. Demand for battery-grade lithium soared some 17 percent since 2007, the report said, and its price quadrupled since 2000.

Most lithium comes from China or Bolivia. Tesla’s battery factory in Nevada will draw lithium from the only active commercial lithium-carbonate mine in North America in Silver Springs, 200 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The mine employs about 80 people and is owned by Albemarle, a mining company based in Charlotte. Tesla’s factory is 45 miles by car northwest in Sparks, Nevada.

A lithium-ion battery is not primarily made of lithium. Many lithium-ion batteries use cobalt as part of the cathode. “It’s mostly cobalt,” Burz said, accounting for a quarter to a third of battery weight. The batteries also contain manganese and aluminum.

Most cobalt comes as a byproduct of nickel and copper. About 60 percent of the world’s supply of cobalt, which is only mildly toxic, comes from the Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In May 2016, China Molybdenum acquired a 56 percent interest in the mine for about $2.65 billion.

Tesla announced it will source cobalt only in North America, but Canada and the United States produce an estimated 4 percent of the world supply. Formation Metals, a Canadian mining firm, changed its name to eCobalt Solutions in 2016 and aims to extract cobalt ore from a hefty deposit near Salmon, Idaho. “The Idaho Cobalt Project remains the sole, near term, environmentally permitted, primary cobalt deposit in the United States, the world’s largest single consumer of cobalt,” said Paul Farquharson, president and CEO of eCobalt.

Zinc supplies are plentiful, by comparison, with sources in China, Australia, Peru and the U.S. The U.S. produces about 900,000 tons of zinc a year, much of it from the huge Red Dog Mine in Alaska, operated by Vancouver-based Teck Resources. To make batteries for a million electric vehicles would require about 600,000 tons of zinc, Burz estimates. One major international zinc company mines some 14 million tons of zinc a year. “It’s the fourth most mined metal on the planet,” he said.

Recycling battery metals

Lithium-ion batteries can be reprocessed to recover some of the cobalt inside, but not at purity levels needed for new batteries. Lithium is about 5 percent of the material and can be recovered for use as an additive. “People are working on this because there are going to be lots of electric cars,” Burz said.

Batteries could be taken out of cars when their performance drops after about 7-10 years and repurposed for grid storage at lower efficiency for another 7-10 years.
Nearly 95 percent of lead-acid batteries are recyclable, including lead, plastic container and acid. “They smash it, recycle the plastic, grab the lead and melt it down to put it in a new battery, take the sulfuric acid and use it for something else,” he said.

Zinc batteries offer similar recycling advantages, turning zinc and nickel into new cathodes. Plastic containers can be recycled into new ones. “The whole thing is recyclable,” Burz said. “It’s three times more efficient at about the same price” as lead-acid cells. “The cycle life is two to three times” that of lead-acid.
In stop-start vehicles such as a Prius or Chevy Malibu, the car shuts itself off when it sits at stoplights. By year 2020 or 2025, nearly 80 percent of cars will be stop-start, Burz said. Batteries have to be big enough to keep air conditioning and radio working during stops. “You keep doing that every mile and you take the life of that battery and shrink it way down,” he said.

China has about 200 million electric two-wheeled vehicles that now use lead-acid batteries. They could be replaced with zinc-based batteries. Beyond vehicles, zinc-based batteries could be used for energy storage in micro-grids or distributed grids to add resiliency. Every home could have its own battery storage. “It’s cheaper, safer, not a lithium system sitting in your house that could explode,” Burz said. “It’s an enormous market.”

EnZinc’s sponge anode currently in testing is a wafer about .8 millimeters thick and 1.5 centimeters in diameter. The electrolyte is potassium hydroxide enclosed to curb evaporation. “We’re going to bigger and bigger cells,” Burz said, experimenting with foil pouches to test the technology. Soon the wafers will increase in size to a square about 5 centimeters across. Eventually he expects a cell to span about six inches. “We can use lead-acid-battery manufacturing equipment,” Burz said.

“It’s like baking muffins,” Burz said of zinc-sponge manufacturing. “We make an emulsion that looks like pancake batter and pour it into a mold. Then we bake them.”

James Dunn covers technology, biotech, law, the food industry, and banking and finance. Reach him at: james.dunn@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4257
DeZwarteRidder
0
The Tenke Fungurume mine's copper-cobalt deposits are believed to be one of the world's largest known copper-cobalt resources. The deposits are located on contiguous concessions which total approximately of 1,500 km2. These concessions are located in the southeast region, DRC, approximately 175 km northwest of Lubumbashi, the provincial capital.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (Freeport) is the operating partner holding a 56% interest. Lundin Mining holds a 24% interest and La Générale des Carrièe;res et des Mines (Gécamines), the Congolese state mining company, holds a 20% free carried interest in the project. Owing to the carried interest of Gécamines, capital funding is provided by Freeport and Lundin Mining as to 70% and 30%, respectively.

Construction started in late 2006 on open-pit and oxide ore processing facilities designed to produce 115,000 tpa of cathode copper and over 8,000 tpa of cobalt in hydroxide. Commissioning of the copper facilities occurred at the end of the first quarter 2009, and of the cobalt hydroxide facilities at the end of the second quarter. By year end 2009, full name plate capacities for both products were being achieved. Subsequent debottlenecking and plant upgrades allowed expansion to increase to 132,000 tpa of copper cathode and approximately 11,000 tpa cobalt hydroxide. A Phase 2 Expansion of the plant was completed in 2014, which has increased nameplate capacity to 195,000 tpa of copper cathode and 15,000 tpa cobalt hydroxide.

The phase 2 expansion was one of several stages of development contemplated with the objective of ultimately producing up to 500,000 tpa of copper by mining multiple deposits concession-wide.

The main highway, railroad and power line connecting Kolwezi and Likasi with Lubumbashi pass through the concessions. Scheduled air services are available between Lubumbashi and the capital Kinshasa, as well as from Johannesburg, South Africa and Zambia. An airstrip constructed on the concession can accommodate medium sized aircraft. The copper and cobalt product and bulk mine consumables are primarily transported by truck between Tenke Fungurume and ports in South Africa via a transport hub located at Ndola in Zambia.

The tailings storage facility is located to the north west of the process plant site. The entire impoundment area is lined with a high density polyethylene liner. The current location and configuration will provide containments sufficient for the full known reserves. Further expansions of the existing tailings storage facility are planned by raising and extending the dam walls and advancing the placement basis to the north of the current footprint. Conceptual location studies over the concession area have also been carried out to identify future tailings sites to meet potentially expanded production scenarios.

Electrical power is provided from the national grid. The power supply to the plant site is provided via a high voltage overhead line from the Fungurume substation to the switchyard at the plant site. The Fungurume substation has been upgraded to provide a reliable power supply to Tenke Fungurume.

Water supply is available within a reasonable distance of the mine site and plant. Appropriately spaced wells sustain the mining and plant processes, with standby capacity. Additional process water requirements come from a combination of water from the tailings storage facility supernatant return water and potentially impacted run-off stormwater collected from the waste rock stockpiles and plant site. Potable water is supplied to, and reticulated throughout, the permanent village located north of Fungurume.
DeZwarteRidder
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CMOC Announces Acquisition of Freeport-McMoRan’s Indirect 56% Interest in Tenke Fungurume for US$2.65 billion (USD)
November 16, 2016 07:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

HONG KONG & SHANGHAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--China Molybdenum Co., Ltd (“CMOC”) is pleased to announce that all conditions precedent set out in the Stock Purchase Agreement with Freeport-McMoRan (“FCX”) to acquire their indirect 70 percent interest in TF Holdings Limited (“TFHL”) has been fulfilled and the transaction completed. TFHL is a Bermuda holding company that indirectly owns an 80 percent interest in Tenke Fungurume Mining S.A. (“Tenke”) located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”). FCX had a 70 percent interest in TFHL and an effective 56 percent interest in Tenke.

“We are excited to be a miner in the DRC which hosts one of the largest know copper belts in the world. We are pleased to complete this transaction with the full support of the DRC Government. We look forward to developing long-term partnership and friendship with all the stakeholders”
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CMOC paid approximately $2.65 billion in cash, with contingent consideration of up to $120 million in cash, consisting of $60 million if the average copper price exceeds $3.50 per pound and $60 million if the average cobalt price exceeds $20 per pound, both during calendar years 2018 and 2019.

“We are excited to be a miner in the DRC which hosts one of the largest know copper belts in the world. We are pleased to complete this transaction with the full support of the DRC Government. We look forward to developing long-term partnership and friendship with all the stakeholders” CMOC Chairman and Executive Director Mr. Li Chaochun commented.

Tenke Fungurume is a world-class, large-scale, long-lived producing copper-cobalt mine located in the DRC within the prolific Central African Copperbelt. In 2015, Tenke produced 204 thousand tonnes of copper and 16 thousand tonnes of cobalt (100% basis) at a net cash cost of approximately US$1.21 per pound of copper.

“The acquisition of Tenke is consistent with our international growth strategy and our disciplined approach while achieving earnings, commodity, and geographic diversification. By virtue of its substantial mineral endowment, and proper stewardship, we look for Tenke to continue producing high-grade copper for decades to come. I am looking forward to working with the Tenke Leadership Team and all employees of this world-class operation.” CMOC International CEO Mr. Kalidas Madhavpeddi said.

CMOC retained Citigroup Global Markets Inc. as financial advisor, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP as lead legal advisor, and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, King & Wood Mallesons LLP and Covington & Burling LLP as legal advisors.

About CMOC

CMOC is primarily engaged in the mining, processing and marketing of mineral products. CMOC is one of the world’s largest molybdenum, tungsten and niobium producers, the second largest phosphate producer in Brazil, and Australia’s fourth largest producer of copper. CMOC’s key operating assets include Sandaozhuang molybdenum-tungsten mine and facilities located in Luoyang China, niobium and phosphate mines and operation facilities located in Catalao and Cubatao, Brazil as well as the Northparkes copper-gold mine located near Parkes, NSW Australia. CMOC is dual-listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HK3993) and the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SH603993).
DeZwarteRidder
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fd.nl

Kobalt, het nieuwe goud, maakt zich op voor 'supercyclus'

Dit jaar is de prijs voor het metaal, vast bestanddeel van oplaadbare batterijen, al drie keer over de kop gegaan. En het einde van de kobalt-run is nog niet in zicht.
DeZwarteRidder
0
Kobalt, het nieuwe goud, maakt zich op voor 'supercyclus'

Om steeds meer smartphones en auto's te voorzien van oplaadbare batterijen, is ook steeds meer kobalt nodig. Dat stuwt de prijs voor dit metaal, vast onderdeel van die energiecellen, tot grote hoogte.

Dit jaar is de prijs voor kobalt (met een hoge dichtheid) al drie keer over de kop gegaan. Voor een 'pound' kobalt (=0,45 kg) wordt al $30 betaald. En het einde van de kobalt-run is nog niet in zicht, zo is de verwachting. Het metaal staat aan de vooravond van wat persbureau Bloomberg een 'supercyclus' noemt.

De enorme vlucht van het metaal, dat zijn naam ontleend aan het boosaardige aardmannetje uit de sprookjes ('kobold'), is simpelweg het gevolg van vraag en aanbod. Smartphones, tablets en laptops zijn niet aan te slepen. Grote autofabrikanten zetten vol in op de elektrische auto. Tesla alleen al, voorloper op dit gebied, stampt een 'gigafabriek' voor oplaadbare batterijen uit de grond in de woestijn van Nevada. Volgend jaar moeten er net zoveel lithium-ionaccu's uit die ene fabriek rollen, als er nu in de hele wereld worden geproduceerd.

Tegelijkertijd stokt het aanbod. De totale hoeveelheid kobalt die vorig jaar werd gewonnen - het meeste in mijnen in Congo en vaak ook nog door kleine kinderen in helse omstandigheden - kwam in 2016 uit op 123.000 metrische ton. Dat was een daling van 2%, zo blijkt uit data van het Amerikaanse geologische onderzoeksbureau USGS. Tevens stagneert ook de uitvoer van verwerkt kobalt uit China, goed voor de helft van de totale wereldproductie, dit jaar, zo verwacht Bloomberg. En dat na een toename met maar liefst 884% in de afgelopen dertien jaar.

Grote mijnbouwers als Glencore zetten daarom vol in op kobalt. Het Zwitserse bedrijf investeerde onlangs bijna $1 mrd in Congo, het centraal-Afrikaanse land waar ongeveer de helft van alle kobalt ter wereld wordt opgegraven. Iets wat op positieve reacties kan rekenen van beleggingsanalisten, zoals van het Amerikaanse Jefferies. Mede door de kobaltactiviteiten is het volgens hen verstandig om het aandeel Glencore te kopen.

Dat is terug te zien in de koers van Glencore, dat twee jaar geleden nog worstelde met een torenhoge schuldenlast. Het aandeel Glencore, genoteerd in Londen, is met bijna 30% gestegen in de afgelopen zes weken. Ook het Braziliaanse Vale, dat kobalt wint als bijproduct van nikkel, heeft een dergelijke koerssprong gemaakt. En dichterbij huis, geldt hetzelfde voor het Belgische Umicore.

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