High Grade Metals is ready to start looking for cobalt in Austria
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High Grade Metals is working to an accelerated timeline after its successful transition from West Australian gold to Austrian cobalt.
Cobalt is in high demand because of its use in rechargeable batteries for electric cars. One billion electric cars are expected to be on the road by 2050 and cobalt demand is expected to grow eight-fold by 2025.
ASX cobalt stocks have performed strongly over the past 12 months — with some up as much as 700 or 800 per cent.
“Cobalt was never really that interesting or sexy, but the pricing and global demand have fundamentally changed all of that,” head of corporate development Omar Khan told Stockhead.
Newly rebranded High Grade Metals (ASX:HGM), which in its former life was Quest Minerals, has now mapped out a two-year exploration program for its cobalt and gold projects.
The company relisted on the ASX on March 8 after acquiring nine high-grade projects in Austria and plans to start exploration at its Leogang cobalt and Schellgaden gold projects.
“In the next 12 months we’re hoping to have a prefeasibility study and a JORC resource,” Mr Khan said. “We’re working to an accelerated timeline and want to ensure that we’re able to commercialise these assets.”
JORC refers to mining industry standards for reporting exploration results and mineral resources, defined by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.
Historical rock chip data for Leogang suggests grades of up to 10 per cent cobalt, 12 per cent copper and 8 per cent nickel.
Cobalt grades above 0.1 per cent are considered economic at current cobalt prices. Grades above 0.2 per cent are average and grades of 0.3 per cent and above are considered very good, especially with scale.
Grades of over 1.5 per cent copper and 2 per cent nickel are considered high grade.
“These are rock chip samples, so we don’t believe that that’s what we’ll probably find inside the mine, but if it’s anywhere even remotely near that that’s exceptionally high grade especially in the context of where the cobalt price is now,” Mr Khan noted.
The LME cobalt price has climbed over 300 per cent in the past two years to $US88,500 ($114,801) per tonne.
Here’s a list of ASX-listed stocks with exposure to cobalt: