Global nickel and cobalt exlorer Jervois (ASX:JRV) has signed an agreement with the US Department of Defense to accelerate a drilling program at its Idaho Cobalt Operations in the US.
This agreement follows a previously announced US$15 million funding deal with the Department of Defense that allows Jervois to help advance US cobalt supply chain security.
Jervois reports the drilling program at Idaho will expand the RAM deposit’s existing cobalt resources and will also potentially delineate the adjacent Sunrise historic resource to modern geological standards.
The company says the cash will also be used to fund a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) for a cobalt refinery in the US to be completed by a Jervois subsidiary delegated by Jervois Mining USA.
This BFS will be expedited by benefitting from efficiencies provided by the company’s decision to pivot to the US refinery BFS its efforts and work-in-progress on a cobalt refinery expansion BFS at Jervois Finland, as announced on 18 April 2023.
Jervois Finland is Jervois’ wholly owned refining and advancing manufacturing operation in Kokkola, Finland. An existing cobalt refinery design and work product, including a flowsheet, will be utilised in preparing the US refinery BFS.
Jervois reports it suspended final construction at the Idaho Cobalt Operations in late March 2023 due to continuing low cobalt proxies, as well as inflationary impacts on construction costs in the US, to preserve the value of the project’s cobalt ore body.
The company expects cobalt prices to recover over the medium term
The company expects cobalt prices to recover over the medium term, driven by the energy transition and a growing demand trend for cobalt with Western environmental, social, and governance (ESG) credentials.
Jervois is a global nickel and cobalt development company that serves the battery and chemicals markets through its assets in North America, South America, Australia, and Finland.
Along with the Idaho Cobalt Operations in the US, the company also holds the São Miguel Paulista Refinery in Brazil, the Nico Young Nickel-Cobalt Project in New South Wales, and a refinery in Finland.
Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au
Images: Jervois Global Ltd