The Highline acquisition is part of Delecta’s diversification strategy aimed at capitalising on the demand for battery minerals such as cobalt, lithium and vanadium.
Location plan: Highline and Pochontas claims
Delecta intends to utilise the 90-day option period to complete a geological review of the project and surrounding area and conduct an initial exploration program to identify and map mineralisation both at surface and within existing accessible workings.
This will enable the design and implementation of an exploration program to test the projects’ economic potential.
Battery minerals for an electric future
The rapid growth of electric vehicles is creating a significant demand for cobalt, causing tight supply, high prices and supply chain issues for this critical material.
Notably, the cobalt price has increased from US$23,000 per tonne in March 2016 to US$63,750 per tonne in August 2018.
Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) are also emerging as an efficient battery technology for utility-scale renewable energy storage.
It is worth noting that 3,000 tonnes of vanadium were used in batteries in 2017, twice as much reported in 2016.
By 2025, the VRFB industry is forecasted to demand between 25,000 and 30,000 tonnes of vanadium (up to 10X more than 2017).
Hand specimen from the project area
Delecta managing director Malcolm Day said: “Given the company’s success with its investment in European Lithium Ltd, the company has continued to seek and evaluate other investment opportunities in the battery minerals space.
“The increased demand for battery minerals, like lithium and cobalt, is primarily due to the rapid advancement and demand for electric vehicles.
“Given the Highline mine’s previous mining and exploration was circa 100 years ago, the company believes that the Highline Cobalt-Copper Project represents a relatively low-risk opportunity in an area of known mineralisation.”