Once fully commissioned, ICO will be the only primary cobalt mine in the United States. As a result, ICO’s opening represents a significant milestone for the secure supply of this critical mineral in the U.S., the company said.
“The mine is commencing a commissioning phase during October, with equipment undergoing final completion test work ahead of continuous commercial concentrate production expected across the fourth quarter of 2022,’’ the company said in a press release. “Full name plate capacity is expected by the end of the first quarter of the first quarter of 2023.”
The announcement came after the close of trading on October 6, 2022, when Jervois Global shares rose 12.2% or $0.06 to 55 cents. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 95 cents and 31 cents.
Jervois is focused on becoming a global supplier in the emerging battery metals market. In keeping with that focus, the company swallowed eCobalt Solutions Inc. two years ago in a $57.6 million deal, a move that gave Jervois Mining access to eCobalt’s Idaho Cobalt Project (ICO), a high-grade cobalt deposit.
Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) is now Jervois’ flagship primary cobalt deposit located in Idaho near the town of Salmon. Over the course of 20 years, approximately US$100 million has been invested in developing the mine.
It is fully environmentally permitted for ore processing capacity of up to 1,200 tons and has high cobalt and copper grades, with a gold by-product.
The ICO is located in the heart of the Idaho Cobalt Belt, a unique mineral-rich, prolific metallogenic district unique to North America, which historically produced 2 million tons of contained cobalt between the early 1900s through to the 1960s.
In an update, the company said ore reserves now stand at 2.5 million tonnes at 0.55% cobalt, 0.80% copper and 0.64 g/t gold. As a result, it envisages average annual contained production of 1,915 tonnes of cobalt, 2,900 tonnes of copper and 6,700 ounces of gold.
Jervois has already announced the successful completion of an updated bankable feasibility study for the ICO. It said the study confirms the potential of the project to establish a near-term, low-cost cobalt-copper-gold mine, with significant opportunity to increase the mineral resource and extend mine reserves once mining commences.
In its October 6, 2022 press release Jervois said it is celebrating the official opening of its ICO mine site with U.S. Federal and State government representatives and the Australian Ambassador to the United States in attendance.