Meeting the needs of a cleaner, greener, ethical future
The world as we know it will change. Government policy and market disruptors (like Tesla) mean there is huge growth expected for hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs). These along with strong growth in renewable energies may lead to a strong growth in demand for copper, nickel and cobalt. We are positioning the company to help supply a better future for the Earth.
EVs are coming...and in a serious way! Governments around the world are making this happen. We think this is awesome and want to live in a cleaner future.
An electrified future is likely to require substantially more copper than what is currently mined. EVs alone require about four times more copper than 'conventionals'. Nickel gives the lithium-ion batteries that power EVs their 'ooomf' - yet only a fraction of current nickel supply is suited to batteries.
Cobalt stabilises the nickel in lithium-ion batteries and helps stop them from catching on fire. So Cobalt sounds great. But the kicker is that over half of the world's cobalt comes from some of the most volatile countries in the world, and we can envisage a cobalt-crisis like the oil-crises of the 1970s. We're going to try to minimise the risk by finding a more stable supply.
A greener future needs more than just electrification of our cars and homes. The whole supply chain needs to become cleaner. For mining, the easiest way to be greener is to use less energy, produce less waste, and consume less reagents. How? Well, by targeting higher-quality mineral deposits that contain less contaminants, it is easy to be green without trying very hard. Sure, but everyone says that right? Yes, but are they looking in the same place as everyone else? If so, then not only are the deposits that they discover likely to be lower value, but smaller and lower quality. We are targeting new regions that may be hiding the large, high-quality deposits in well regulated places that are rapidly becoming increasingly rare.
Cobalt is awesome. But the horrid reality is that there is a good chance that your mobile phone contains cobalt mined by children in slavery-like conditions. It was not cool to send children down chimneys in the 18th century, so why would we tolerate such practices now? This makes us angry, and luckily phone and vehicle manufacturers are on the same page as us. We hope our contribution to a better society will be through discovering big new sources of cobalt that are ethical and more stable than the present.
Talk is cheap. But our directors can all demonstrate their ethics with real evidence.