Global Energy Metals (TSXV:GEMC) is building the world’s first “Battery Minerals Project Bank” of advanced-stage, near-production and producing mining projects to supply cobalt and other battery materials to the growing rechargeable battery market. The Investing News Network (INN) asked Global Energy Metals CEO Mitchell Smith about the upside to the cobalt market as well as the company’s strategic partnership with Beijing Easpring Material Technology (SZSE:300073).
Global Energy Metals is managed by a team of industry professionals who are well versed in the battery metals supply chain and markets. The company has developed a strong network of partnerships and relationships with leading battery component manufacturers and other downstream users of battery-related metals. In March 2017, Global Energy Metals signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Beijing Easpring Material Technology, a leading battery manufacturing company, to jointly invest in and develop cobalt projects.
Global Energy Metals’ flagship property is its wholly owned Werner Lake cobalt project in Ontario, Canada. A past producer with significant potential for resource upgrading and expansion, Werner Lake is one of the only primary cobalt projects in North America.
Global Energy Metals is actively evaluating high-quality assets to further build shareholder value. In May 2017, the company announced an agreement with Hammer Metals (ASX:HMX) to earn an interest in the Millennium copper-cobalt-gold project in Northwest Queensland.
Below is the video and transcript of our conversation with Global Energy Metals CEO Mitchell Smith.
INN: Why cobalt?
Global Energy Metals CEO Mitchell Smith: It is a question we have been asking ourselves for nearly a decade. Senior management of Global Energy Metals has focused on the cobalt space for over 10 years, and we are early adopters to understanding the importance of cobalt to the battery minerals space. We feel there is a very interesting time ahead of us in the cobalt arena and look forward to being part of it.
INN: What differentiates Global Energy Metals from the other cobalt companies entering the space?
MS: A number of factors differentiate us. Global Energy has assembled a very unique team that has a deep sector knowledge on cobalt, and battery minerals in particular, and also on the supply and offtake relationships that go along with that. In addition to that, we have also secured a partnership with a leading battery manufacturer.
Beijing Easpring Material Technology is one of the world’s leading battery cathode manufacturers. They are located in China and they supply five of the world’s six largest battery producers, including LG Chem (KRX:051910), Panasonic (TSE:6752) and Samsung (KRX:005930). Easpring has a mandate in place to secure upstream raw material, so they have partnered with Global Energy Metals because they recognize our role in the space. Together we will co-invest, co-develop and fund future project acquisitions in the cobalt space.
INN: How does your recently announced acquisition of the Millennium cobalt project fit into Global Energy Metals’ strategy?
MS: Millennium is a significant cobalt project based in the Mount Isa region of Australia. The project has excellent potential to grow in terms of size and scale. It is also an advanced project with historic metallurgical work done and a JORC-compliant resource in place. The project can be fast tracked into a production decision with exploratory and development work over the course of the next several months, with the potential to become a future supplier to our downstream partners.
INN: What is your outlook on cobalt?
MS: We believe that there are strong short-term fundamentals for the cobalt price to remain relatively the same; demand will continue to increase, keeping that price buoyant. Supply will come back onstream in the future with groups like Glencore (LSE:GLEN) and CMOC in the Democratic Republic of Congo bringing back production from their copper and nickel projects. That being said, we believe that there is strong opportunity for Global Energy Metals to become a niche supplier into that market.
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