Quest Minerals has won the backing of its shareholders to shift from gold in Western Australia to cobalt in Austria.

The junior explorer’s (ASX:QNL) shareholders on Friday approved the acquisition of Austrian Projects Corporation, which owns eight projects prospective for cobalt, nickel, copper and gold.

Cobalt has grabbed the attention of investors over the past couple of years thanks in part to a rise in demand for lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles.

Quest Minerals shares over the past six months. Source:

Bloomberg predicts the number of electric vehicles on the roads will rocket from around 2 million now to more than 500 million by 2040.

Four exploration concessions — covering 44 sq km — have the potential to produce cobalt, with historic grades of as high as 15.76 per cent cobalt. Anything over 2 per cent cobalt is considered high grade.

Quest, which has a market cap of $7 million currently, has now requested a suspension from the ASX while it works to re-comply with the listing rules.

The company will be renamed High Grade Metals and expects to be back trading by March 2.

Stockhead is seeking comment from Quest.