Your browser does not support script
Formation Metals Inc. Formation Metals Inc.

Cobalt News

Formation Metals Inc.

Investor Info

Show printable version of 'Cobalt News' item in a New Window


Please note that by clicking on any of the links provided below you will be entering websites directly or indirectly maintained by a third party and that you do so at your own risk. The link to the External Websites are provided for convenience purposes only. By clicking the links below you acknowledge and agree that Formation Metals Inc. is not responsible for, and hence does not accept or assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the content, or the operation of, the External Website and/or any linked sites.

 April 09, 2014
DRC Seeking to Raise Cobalt Export Tax to 4 Percent
    Publisher: Resource Investing News
    Author: Charlotte McLeod


DRC Seeking to Raise Cobalt Export Tax to 4 Percent

Reuters reported yesterday that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is looking to double its cobalt export royalty from 2 to 4 percent.

Some, such as Pieter Deboutte, who manages the company that holds Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler's mining and oil interests in the country, believe the move could make companies less eager to do business in the DRC.

As quoted in the market news:

Notes from talks with mining investors, seen by Reuters, show Congo is seeking to raise royalties on copper and cobalt from 2 to 4 percent, and gold from 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

The government is keen to tap new revenue streams, partly to help pay for elections in 2016 when President Joseph Kabila is scheduled to step down. Deboutte, however, said the government should be patient as tax revenues were poised to jump in any case over the next three years due to rising production.

Click here to read the full Reuters report.

 April 09, 2014
Strong competition for consumer sales drives cobalt prices lower
    Publisher: Metal Bulletin


Strong competition for consumer sales drives cobalt prices lower

Cobalt prices dipped this week, after competition for consumer business heated up.

Low-grade cobalt prices dropped to $14-14.90 per lb on Wednesday April 9, down from $14.10-15 per lb previously. High-grade cobalt prices fell to $14.10-15.10 per lb, down from $14.20-15.30 per lb. Both traders and producers expressed an eagerness to sell, having watched prices stabilise for several weeks following the recent rally. One producer reported reducing his...

To read more, Sign up for a Free Trial Metal Bulletin Membership

 April 07, 2014
Prepare to Be Electrified
    Publisher: Vancouver Sun
    Author: Paul Kariya and Merran Smith


Prepare to be Electrified

Zero-emission cars will soon be a much more common sight on our streets

By Paul Kariya and Merran Smith, Special to the Sun April 6, 2014

Starting in 2016, one in every 10 fleet vehicles bought by B.C. governments or companies should emit zero carbon pollution.

It's an internal combustion world out there. Spotting a zero-emission electric vehicle --- a Nissan Leaf, say, or a sparkling Tesla Model S --- on the streets of Vancouver remains something of a cheap thrill, at least for some of us.

But that's about to change.

Thanks to the Pacific Coast Action Plan --- inked last fall by British Columbia and the states of Washington, Oregon, and California --- starting two years from now, one in every 10 fleet vehicles purchased by British Columbia governments or companies should emit no carbon pollution whatsoever.

That's a remarkable commitment: Going off ICBC data and some simple assumptions, that adds up to about 3,000 new zero-emissions vehicles on the road in the province each year from the likes of Budget and Hertz, car2go, Canada Post, FortisBC, Modo (the Vancouver-based car-sharing co-op), municipal vehicles, universities, and others. Though the "zero-emissions" requirement is broad enough to include vehicles that run on fuel cells and biofuels, in reality the majority of the fleet vehicles meeting the requirement will be battery-electric.

Fortunately, several public and private fleets already have a jump-start.

Canada Post has run a fleet of electric mail trucks in Vancouver for several years. And every new light-duty vehicle purchased by the City of Vancouver runs on batteries unless there is a technical requirement for a different sort of vehicle due to size, range, or operational requirements. In fact, the City of Vancouver already meets and beats the 2016 requirement; last year, 16 per cent of the city's new vehicle purchases were electrics.

Others can follow the City of Vancouver's lead. In a recent study, Ontario consulting firm FleetCarma concluded that more than 90 per cent of our province's existing fleet routes could be covered with electric vehicles. The Action Plan commitment will help reduce pollution in British Columbia --- since B.C.'s electricity is overwhelmingly clean and renewable --- but it will also play a critical role in accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles.

That's because fleets offer people an opportunity they would not otherwise have to drive and ride in EVs. That familiarity is sorely needed --- despite the success of the provincial government's policies to support EVs, such as rebates for vehicles and charging stations as part of the clean vehicle program.

There are now plenty of places to plug in, and plenty of people doing so --- more than 600 charging stations dot B.C. roads and parking lots, and dealers sold more than 500 EVs last year. Still, according to recent WWF Canada research, only eight per cent of West Coasters have ever seen or ridden in an electric vehicle.

This will change quickly as the action plan commitment starts to kick in. It's already well underway in London, England, on a bigger scale. By 2018, every new taxi in the city will be a zero-emission vehicle --- again, mostly electric.

B.C.'s action plan commitment will doubtless inject fresh energy into our province's small but vital low-carbon transportation sector, which currently employs about 1,500 people and contributes $110 million to the economy. The sector is developing batteries and power systems for current and future vehicles, while figuring out how to best integrate electric vehicles with our mostly clean energy grid.

Their solutions to these challenges will offer lessons to the rest of the world.

Energy systems around the planet are changing rapidly, and B.C. needs to remain competitive to stay in the game. According to research firm IHS Automotive, worldwide sales of electric vehicles grew by 44 per cent between 2012 and 2013, and the market is expected to increase by an additional 67 per cent by 2014 --- or just shy of half a million vehicles. Navigant Research forecasts six million electric vehicles will be plying planet Earth by 2022.

In sum, zero-emission vehicles are here to stay, and B.C.'s Action Plan commitment will help ensure this sector remains competitive.

Not that it will be easy. The provincial government is not planning to continue its rebate program and the zero-emission fleet commitment is non-binding. In addition, opinions differ how to achieve the commitment. Should rebates be reinstated? Should the province legislate its zero-emissions fleet requirement?

We look forward to working with the province and the other companies and organizations to wrestle these questions down to earth and advance electric mobility in B.C. --- for cleaner air, a stable climate, and a prosperous and diverse economy.

Paul Kariya and Merran Smith are members of The Energy Forum (, an industry-NGO collaboration promoting better climate, energy and environmental policy and practices in the clean energy sector.

 March 31, 2014
Tesla's (TSLA) $5 billion battery factory will source raw materials from North America
    Publisher: Stockhouse Editorial

 Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA, Stock Forum), the electric vehicle maker co-founded by Elon Musk, plans to use only raw materials sourced in North America for its proposed $5 billion U.S. battery factory, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The Silicon Valley company won't look overseas for the graphite, cobalt and other materials needed for its so-called Gigafactory, said Liz Jarvis-Shean, a spokeswoman for Tesla in an email to Bloomberg.

The Gigafactory is important for commodity markets because of its sheer scale. While Tesla has yet to select a site in the western U.S. for the plant, plans that were first revealed in February envisage the production of enough rechargeable lithium-ion batteries each year by 2020 to power 500,000 Tesla vehicles.

The factory would singlehandedly double world output of lithium-ion units. The factory is so big that without more cobalt supply there will be a cobalt shortage, according to Stuart Burns, co-founder of Chicago-based pricing and analysis company Metal Miner.

TSLA shares eased 1.4% to $209.30 on Monday, leaving a market cap of $25.8 billion, based on 123.2 million shares outstanding. The 52-week range is $265 and $40.21.

 March 28, 2014
Tesla to Use North American Material Amid Pollution Worry
    Publisher: Bloomberg
    Author: Jack Kaskey and Simon Casey


Bloomberg News - March 28, 2014

Tesla to Use North American Material Amid Pollution Worry

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric vehicle maker co-founded by Elon Musk, plans to source all the raw materials for its proposed $5 billion U.S. battery factory in North America.

The Silicon Valley company won't look overseas for the graphite, cobalt and other materials needed for its so-called Gigafactory, said Liz Jarvis-Shean, a spokeswoman.

"It will enable us to establish a supply chain that is local and focused on minimizing environmental impact while significantly reducing battery cost," she said in an e-mail.

The move comes amid heightened interest in curbing graphite pollution and a widespread corporate sensitivity about avoiding the use of industrial minerals from troubled parts of the world. China's government, for example, has begun to shutter mines producing graphite, a major ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, over air-quality issues, Bloomberg News reported March 14.

Tesla, which manufactures the $71,070 Model S, says the "vast majority" of the graphite it uses right now comes from Japan and Europe and is synthetic, not mined. The Palo Alto, California-based company prefers the synthetic variety, Jarvis-Shean said.

Natural graphite mined in China accounts for most of the material used in batteries worldwide, according to London-based Industrial Minerals Data. China, the biggest graphite producer, is closing dozens of mines and processing plants even as global demand soars.

High Costs?

The Tesla purchasing strategy is unique in the battery industry, according to Sam Jaffe, an analyst at Navigant Research. To make it work, analysts who follow the industry say Tesla may need to turn to graphite mines in Canada that have yet to be built. For cobalt, they say Tesla may have to go beyond existing Canadian output and look at prospective supplies in Minnesota and Idaho.

Formation Metals Management note: Formation Metals and the Idaho Cobalt Project is mentioned later in the article. Read the full article here: Tesla to Use North American Material Amid Pollution Worry

 March 24, 2014
A Revolution In Industrialization Is Underway
    Author: Rick Mills


A Revolution In Industrialization Is Underway

March 24, 2014, Rick Mills, Ahead of the Heard -

Imagine with me for a moment that the car market is at the start of a major transition. Why would I think that? Well...

I think that by 2020 battery-powered cars will become a no-brainer purchase for many of us.

  • Electric cars deliver full torque from a standstill so they have impressive acceleration. They are fun to drive!
  • Electric cars are quiet, there is no combustion, no muffler.
  • Electric cars do not use explosive fuel, there is no gas tank.
  • Electric cars are cheaper to operate, electricity being cheaper than gasoline.
  • Electric cars are also cheaper to maintain than combustion systems. Having far fewer parts makes the car less complex, easier and cheaper to maintain -- there's no ignition, exhaust, timing or cooling systems.
  • Electric cars can be plugged in at home and you wake up with a fully charged battery every day.
  • No more getting 'hosed' at the gas station, not even the day before a long weekend when combustion engine car owners are lining up.
  • Road trips have currently been extended to over 400 km on a single charge.
  • A network of charging stations is being built.
  • Tesla's car battery can be guaranteed for a full eight years. Other manufacturers will follow this achievement.
  • Old batteries can and will be recycled. Current technology saves a minimum of 70 percent on CO2 emissions involved in creating lithium-ion batteries from scratch.
  • Zero tail pipe emissions.

I think that by 2020 battery-powered cars will become a no-brainer purchase for many of us.

The most recognized name in electric cars at the moment is Tesla Motors whose goal is to ship 500,000 cars in 2020. To reach that goal would require the entire battery industry to more than double production. That's just Tesla - never mind other existing players and new entrants into the electric car market.

If ten percent of all cars on the road were to become battery-powered global battery production would require an astounding 20-fold increase.

Click here for the full story.

 March 22, 2014
Tesla's bet on winning the global lithium [& cobalt] race
    Publisher: CNBC
    Author: Clay Dillow


Tesla's bet on winning the global lithium [& cobalt]race

March 19, 2014, Clay Dillow, NBR, - Tesla Motors plans to open up the world's largest battery factory in 2017---a 10-million-square-foot so-called Gigafactory---will eventually produce more gigawatt-hours of battery supply each year than were produced globally in 2013....

"...Most at issue for Tesla's next-gen lithium-ion chemistry are lithium and cobalt, each of which carries some degree of risk, though for very different reasons. Cobalt, a necessary ingredient for the current generation of nickel-cobalt-aluminum batteries powering Tesla's Model S, is something of a conflict mineral, with a large portion of the global supply originating in the oft-unstable Democratic Republic of Congo."

Formation Metals Management notes that the next generation Lithium-Cobalt Manganese-Nickel batteries expected to be used for the Tesla vehicles contain 10 - 20% cobalt.

Click here for the full story
 March 05, 2014
Cobalt Market Undergoing Structural Change
    Publisher: Metal Pages
    Author: John Evans


Cobalt Market Undergoing Structural Change

LONDON (Metal-Pages) 04-Mar-14. Cobalt intermediate products will have a much stronger bearing on the market price in future as intermediates increase their presence, SFP Metals Manager Nick French told delegates at Metal-Pages' NiCoMo 2014' conference in London.

French with close to forty years experience in the cobalt sector, said the market previously dominated by changes in metal prices finds itself in a period of structural change, in an interview with Metal-Pages Managing Director Nigel Tunna.

Since the global economic downturn of 2008, the cobalt market has had to accommodate the arrival of new production from Ambatovy in Madagascar, while Sumitomo is doubling production, all of which has been absorbed into the price.

Though problems have surfaced in recent days linked to the political situation in Ukraine, French says he sees optimism creeping into the cobalt markets led by demand from the battery and aerospace alloys sectors.
As part of this transition French also sees an 'inevitable' swing toward the London Metals Exchange LME becoming the dominant pricing mechanism for cobalt.

While China consumes 50% of the world's cobalt, Africa particularly the DRC produces just under 50% of global cobalt units, meaning the Africa-China axis leaves the rest of the world hanging on the edge, said French, whose trading company is based in London.

African issues such as political instability, logistics, finance, power problems, mining licenses are elements that will help to underpin the market's unpredictability, he said.

After a period of consolidation that saw the industry landscape in Africa shift, led by Chinese finance as Chinese companies bought up and refined resources in China, three suppliers ENRC, Glencore and Freeport have emerged as strong players increasingly replacing producers who previously wanted cash for cobalt raw materials at the mine gate, changing the terms of trade, French said.

When asked whether the current lack of volatility in the cobalt likely to be a recurring feature in future French said the metals status as a by-product will always leave it vulnerable to the behaviour of the copper and nickel markets.

"2014 being a transition year will be a good year for buyers locking in what they need for 2015/16," French said.

- By John Evans in London (

Click here for the full story
 February 28, 2014
Cobalt prices hit two-year highs
    Publisher: Metal Bulletin
    Author: Fleur Ritzema


Cobalt prices hit two-year highs

Low-grade cobalt prices hit more than two-year highs today, on strong demand for batteries at a time of low producer supplies.

Low-grade cobalt prices hit $14.10-15.25 per lb on Friday February 28, after stabilising on Wednesday February 26 at $14-14.90 per lb.

This was the highest low-grade low since February 22, 2012.

High-grade prices reached $14.30-15.50 per lb on Friday, up from $14.15-15.20 per lb on Wednesday.

Prices have been supported by tight producer supplies, particularly for broken cathodes and briquettes.

The broken cathode premium moved above the cut cathode premium this week. Strong broken cathode sales were reported in parts of Asia and the USA, while cut cathode business was reported lower in China.

Metal Bulletin's weekly broken cathode premium over the London Metal Exchange was $824.21 per tonne ($0.37 per lb) on Friday.

The cut cathode premium was $616.30 per tonne ($0.28 per lb).

Ingots were trading at a $278.04 per tonne premium ($0.13 per lb) to the London Metal Exchange price this week.

"One reason it's moved up is tightness, particularly on broken cathodes. Kasese will soon be out [of the market]. Tocantins has production issues, CTT isn't often traded on spot. And the Chambishi pipeline, which had been a regular supplier to the spot market, is tight," a trader said.

But some sellers remain keen to take profits after the recent rally, and Asian sellers in particular were actively looking to sell this week.

While all business reported on Friday was in the mid- to high-$14s and above, offers were reported as low as $14 per lb.

And while most saw prices remaining firm, one buyer was able to purchase at lower prices later on in the week than at the start of the week.

"We've actually seen prices soften somewhat this week by $0.05," the buyer, who had purchased in the middle of the Metal Bulletin range, commented.

In sharp contrast to the Metal Bulletin prices, LME prices moved lower on Friday.

The official cash cobalt price was $31,200/31,210 ($14.15/14.16 per lb) on Friday, down from $31,300/31,800 ($14.20/14.43 per lb) a day earlier.

See Metal Bulletin's cobalt trade log for details of all deals reported.

Fleur Ritzema
Twitter: FleurRitzema_MB

Sign up for a free trial membership to

Metal Bulletin Trial Membership

 February 27, 2014
Panasonic, suppliers may invest $1 billion in Tesla's U.S. battery plant: Nikkei
    Publisher: Reuters
    Author: (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Paul Simao)


Reuters - Feb 25, 2014

Panasonic, suppliers may invest $1 billion in Tesla's U.S. battery plant: Nikkei

Panasonic Corp (6752.T) is inviting a number of Japanese materials suppliers to join it in investing in a U.S. car battery plant that it plans to build with Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O), with investment expected to reach more than 100 billion yen ($979 million), the Nikkei reported.

Tesla shares also hit an all-time high on Tuesday after one brokerage firm set a new target price that suggested shares would rise almost 50 percent from Monday's closing price.

The plant, expected to go on-stream in 2017, will bolster Panasonic's supply of lithium-ion batteries to the U.S. electric-car maker.

Last week, Tesla shed some light on its plans for building a lithium-ion battery plant, or "giga factory," that will cut battery costs and allow the company to launch a more affordable electric car in 2017. However, it said at the time that further details would be announced this week.

Read the full article here: Reuters - Panasonic, suppliers may invest $1 billion in Tesla's U.S. battery plant: Nikkei

Previous All pages Next 1 2 3 4 Page 5 6 7 8 9
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader now! Adobe Acrobat Reader or Exchange is required to view PDF documents. You may download the free document viewer (Acrobat Reader) from Adobe's web site.
Adnet Communications Inc.