First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQB: FTSSF), with headquarters in Canada, is the largest land owner in the Cobalt Camp in Ontario with control of over 10,000 hectares (nearly 25,000 acres) of prospective land and 50 historic cobalt/silver mines. The company's assets include a mill and the only permitted cobalt extraction refinery in North America capable of producing battery material, providing an integrated solution for cobalt projects. First Cobalt began drilling in the historic Cobalt Camp in 2017 and seeks to build shareholder value through new discovery and growth opportunities.
First Cobalt's 2018 $C7 million drilling program, which includes testing different styles of mineralized areas throughout the Cobalt Camp in more than 10 past-producing mines known to contain cobalt, is a significant expansion over its 2017 exploration activities. The company received positive test drill results from the Bellellen mine location, with early results confirming the presence of high-grade cobalt and nickel, prompting First Cobalt to increase its drilling program at that site. A prospecting sampling program of existing muckpiles around the camp's historic mines, trenches, pits and surrounding bedrock could provide an early production scenario.
First Cobalt Corp. is moving quickly to leverage its potential against an economic background that estimates global consumption for refined cobalt is set to grow at an average rate of approximately 5 percent per annum for the next 10 years. The electric vehicle market, in particular, is driving this sector since more than 50 percent of the world's current production of cobalt is used in the manufacture of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The global lithium-ion battery market, as estimated by Zion Market Research, indicates the value at around USD $31 billion in 2016 and is expected to generate revenue of nearly USD $68 billion by end of 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of slightly above 17 percent.
First Cobalt is embracing innovation in the mining sector, utilizing a digital compilation of 100-plus years of mining and geological data spanning the historically prolific Cobalt Mining Camp's lifespan. First Cobalt's management team is also assessing the ability of artificial intelligence to accelerate the discovery cycle. As a member of the Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) and Metal Earth Project, First Cobalt conducts regional geophysical surveys for geological interpretation of structures controlling cobalt-silver mineralization.
The company's clear pathway to production and cash flow generation includes being one of only four fully permitted cobalt extraction refineries in Canada with significant material and processing infrastructure on site. With the price of cobalt increasing significantly and its importance in the growing battery market underpinning a strong long-term demand forecast, First Cobalt Corp. and its mining interests are primed for success.
First Cobalt Corp. President and CEO Trent Mell, a mining executive and capital markets professional with extensive international transactional experience, is joined by a team of reputable and seasoned deal-makers, mine builders and mine operators with decades of global experience in exploration, business development, geoscience, engineering and finance.