Cobalt Resources Exploration Program
Lithium ion batteries are more in demand than ever because of their use in cell phones, laptops, tablets and electric cars. Unfortunately, those batteries are becoming more expensive to produce because the price of cobalt, one of the components of the cathodes in lithium ion batteries, has skyrocketed.
How expensive is cobalt? The price of a battery for an electric car makes up about half of the price of the car. The makers of electric cars and buses are exploring different battery options that don’t use cobalt, but for now, lithium ion batteries (which use cobalt) are still in the majority when it comes to rechargeable batteries -- and thus, still in very high demand
Why the Price of Cobalt is Surging
The rise in the price of cobalt is due not only to the great need for it, but also due to the limited number of cobalt sources and cobalt mining operations. Two-thirds of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC. Acquiring cobalt for lithium ion batteries from the DRC is problematic not only because the country is in the midst of a volatile political situation, but also because of ethical concerns: The cobalt in the DRC is often mined using child labor or illegal mining operations.
Also, the very nature of the mining and production of cobalt causes unique challenges for the battery industry. Cobalt is almost never mined by itself -- cobalt is a byproduct of mining for copper and nickel. That means that if the demand for those two metals goes down, the mining of cobalt also goes down, even if demand remains high.
The good news is that, despite the vast majority of cobalt still coming from the DRC, other sources are being explored. At Battery Mineral Resources, we have cobalt projects in place to explore the cobalt resources in Canada and even in the U.S., in the state of Idaho.
BMR’s Cobalt Exploration in Canada
BMR controls a land package of 1,100 km2 in the Ontario Cobalt Belt, hosting multiple high-grade targets. Geotechnical assessments and assay results of samples from outcrop have revealed target prospects that range from 1%-21% cobalt. This is a potentially very rich source of the cobalt resources the battery industry needs in order to end its dependence on the DRC, to help bring the price of cobalt down and to use cobalt mined using ethical, sustainable practices.
We are the largest claim holder across all minerals in the Ontario Cobalt Belt, one of the most richly endowed mining regions in the world. BMR is also the first company to recognize the potential of new multiple, at-surface and high-grade primary cobalt discoveries in this region.
AT BMR, we’re taking proactive steps today towards a better future with more affordable, sustainable mining processes for cobalt and other battery minerals. Contact us to learn more about our cobalt resources exploration program or any of our projects, including graphite and lithium exploration projects.