eCobalt Management Update on the Idaho Cobalt Project’s Marketing, Construction and Project Optimization
November 15, 2017 (Source) — eCobalt Solutions Inc. (ECS-TSX) (“eCobalt” or the “Company”) is pleased to communicate the progress to date on the Idaho Cobalt Project’s (“ICP”) construction, cobalt marketing and project optimization.
The ICP, located in East Central Idaho, is the only environmentally permitted, primary cobalt project located in the United States. It is 100% owned by the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Formation Capital Corporation, U.S. Last week, the Company SEDAR filed its recently completed Feasibility Study (“FS”) Technical Report in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (see Company news release dated November 10, 2017). The FS was prepared by Micon International (“MI”) in conjunction with SNC Lavalin (“SNC”) both of Toronto, Canada. The FS outlines the production and processing feasibility of the ICP as an underground mine and mill, developing the Company’s Ram deposit and the Cobalt Production Facility (“CPF”), a hydrometallurgical refining operation located on a railhead in Blackfoot, Idaho. The FS recommends the ICP progress through detailed engineering, procurement and construction phases with consideration of several opportunities to improve the economics of the project.
Mr. Paul Farquharson, President and C.E.O. of the Company commented: “We are pleased to have recently filed a positive Feasibility Study that fundamentally de-risks the project and has also identified opportunities to significantly optimize the project and add additional value in the very short term. We are taking a proactive and strategic approach to optimize these areas including mineral resources, mineral reserves and the flow sheet at the CPF in parallel with detailed engineering. We have recently commissioned a 5,000 foot drill program that is half completed and commissioned a new mine plan to improve detail in the mine design to reduce planned dilution. We have been receiving strong interest for off-take from various parties across the battery supply chain since the release of the economic results of the Feasibility Study in addition to advancing discussions with the parties that we have engaged over the past year. The dynamic electric vehicles and lithium ion batteries market has evolved rapidly during the past few months with the focus of reducing cost per kWh. This has a direct impact on the cobalt supply chain and precursor material production in the Chinese market. Strong demand and changing dynamics has presented us with alternative upstream product opportunities to evaluate that can potentially result in optimization of the flowsheet at the CPF and its operating and capital costs.”
Mineral Resource and Reserves
MI updated the estimate of cobalt, copper, and gold resources in a three-dimensional resource wire frame and block model to be used for mine planning, design, and scheduling as part of the FS. MI utilized the previously estimated resources for the Ram deposit (completed by Mine Development Associates for previously filed Technical Reports) supported by their own geostatistical model and reserve criteria. Working with MI, the potential to increase measured and indicated resources through a focused drilling program was identified. A three hole, 5,000 foot drill program was planned to increase confidence in a zone of high grade inferred resource containing significant high grade mineralization with the intent of converting additional mineralization from inferred to indicated category.
The first drill hole completed has successfully intercepted additional mineralized material within a deeper inferred zone to the South of the deposit with assay results pending. The second of the three planned holes is over 50% complete as of this date. A halo of inferred material exits around the periphery of the known resources as the extent of the Ram deposit has yet to be fully identified.
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In addition, there is approximately 34% dilution forecasted in the stope designs of the FS with additional dilution applied, by mining method and stope conditions for over-break, resulting in the unwanted removal of rock. The Company has advanced the mine design using software designed for short term mine planning to increase the level of detail in the design through use of smaller block sizes. The ultimate goal of this effort is to improve the efficiency of the mine design with the objective of reducing dilution and increasing average grades.
Current Construction Activates
Pre-construction activities continue at the ICP Mine and Mill site. These activities include the procurement of the water treatment plant, installation of the main substation and extension of power lines to the portal bench, the concentrator pad, water retention ponds and control wells. Along with the stockpiling of existing construction aggregate, the mobilization of the crushers to the mill site for early spring resumption of waste pad construction has been completed.
Opportunities for CPF capital and operating cost improvements exist through optimization studies currently underway in response to feedback from potential off-takers and diminishing premiums of cobalt sulphate price. These opportunities will be further evaluated by advancing offtake discussions and detailed CPF design with attention to the production of a clean concentrate products as well as a high purity metal as previously evaluated in previously published studies.
E.R. (Rick) Honsinger, P.Geo., Senior V.P. with eCobalt, is the Qualified Person who has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release.
About eCobalt Solutions Inc. (www.ecobalt.com)
eCobalt Solutions is a well-established Toronto Stock Exchange listed company committed to providing ethically produced, environmentally sound, battery grade cobalt salts, essential for the rapidly growing rechargeable battery and renewable energy sectors, made safely, responsibly, and transparently in the United States.
eCobalt Solutions Inc.
“J. Paul Farquharson”
J. Paul Farquharson
President & CEO
Cautionary Statement on Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Statements in this news release pertaining to expected financings, filings, uses of proceeds or project completion dates are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future events and conditions and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Such projections are and will inevitably always be dependent on assumptions about future mineral prices and development costs which will be subject to fluctuation due to global and local economic and industry conditions. Further information regarding risks and uncertainties which may cause results to differ from those contained in forward-looking statements is included in filings by the Company with securities regulatory authorities and is available at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Although the Company has disclosed that the Idaho Cobalt Project remains the sole, near term, environmentally permitted, primary cobalt deposit in the United States and offers a unique potential for North American consumers to secure an ethically sourced, environmentally sound supply of battery grade cobalt chemicals, there is no guarantee that the Company will attain commercial production of such cobalt chemicals for use in the rechargeable battery sector. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
The statements contained in this news release in regard to eCobalt Solutions Inc. that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including eCobalt Inc.’s beliefs, expectations, hopes or intentions regarding the future. All forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and are based on information available to eCobalt Solutions Inc. as of such date. It is important to note that actual outcome and the actual results could differ from those in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include risks and uncertainties such as technological, legislative, corporate, commodity price and marketplace changes.
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