Cape Lambert Resources Limited (ASX:CFE) has received environmental approvals in Zambia which will allow it to commence exploration work at the Kitwe cobalt-copper tailings project.
The company had executed a binding terms sheet in May 2017 to acquire 70% of the entity holding the Kitwe project.
The share sale agreement for the deal was executed on 4 December 2017, with completion of the acquisition expected within the coming weeks.
Kitwe is estimated to contain 17.72 million tonnes of tailings
The Kitwe project is located 3 kilometres from the outskirts of Zambia’s second largest city, Kitwe.
The project is within the Copperbelt region of Zambia, one of the world’s largest producing regions of high grade cobalt and copper concentrates.
Importantly, the Zambian government’s resource department estimated the license to contain 17.72 million tonnes of tailings in a survey completed in May 2017.
Grades of up to 0.43% cobalt sampled
The Kitwe copper-cobalt tailings dam has a footprint of 750 x 650 metres and is up to 15 metres in height.
The tailings were produced from the nearby Nkana concentrator that processed copper sulphide-oxide ores from the Mindola mine in the 1970s and 1980s.
Samples taken by Cape Lambert’s technical consultants during May 2017 revealed cobalt grades of up to 0.43% at Kitwe.
Metallurgical testwork to commence by month-end
Tailings samples for metallurgical testwork, to be undertaken at the laboratory of Mintek in South Africa, have been collected.
The export paperwork needed to dispatch the sample is currently being organised and it is planned that the metallurgical testwork will commence by month end.
Cobalt is a key input for electric vehicle batteries
It is worth noting that cobalt prices increased 120% in 2017, and is forecast to experience up to a 4,500% surge in global demand from now to 2030.
Cobalt, primarily mined as a by-product of nickel and copper, is a key input for batteries, and thus electric vehicles.
A laptop computer contains circa one ounce of cobalt, while an average electric car battery typically contains more than 30 pounds of cobalt.