Palladium (Pd) has been this year’s best performing commodity so far. With prices up 59% over the last year it’s easy to see why the market is excited. As of the 20th of March 2019 the price of palladium was USD 1,595/oz, making the palladium more valuable than gold.
Palladium is part of the Platinum Group Metals Group (PGMs) and is used mostly in car catalytic converters. Tightening auto-emissions rules globally requiring larger volumes of platinum-group metals in exhaust catalysts are causing price rises. Added to this, restricted supply and recent talk of a Russian export ban have pushed palladium prices even higher. Any cheaper alternative will take years to get to the market, hence most analysts are forecasting a palladium supply deficit for at least 3 years.
Cobalt is another key green energy metal, needed in the lithium-ion battery to maintain safety in most electric cars. Most analysts see a severe cobalt deficit starting post 2022.
Electric Vehicle (EV) and hybrid vehicle growth impact on cobalt and palladium demand
21C Metals Inc. (CSE: BULL | OTCQB: DCNNF) is an exploration company focused on the acquisition and development of deposits of production grade metal that are critical components to current and future vehicle technology. In particular, palladium and cobalt. Palladium’s necessity is in catalytic converters and cobalt is in electric vehicle batteries.
21C Metals has identified a clear opportunity to benefit from current palladium shortages and medium-term supply deficit; and medium/long term supply deficit in cobalt.
Tisova Copper-Cobalt Project in Czech Republic
A historical underground mine with more than 30 kms of underground development. The mine contains sulphide zones more than 100m true thickness, and high-grade copper horizons form lenses up to 5m wide within a thick sulphide blanket. Interestingly previous grab samples assayed 0.69% cobalt, 17.1% copper, 3.7 g/t gold and 178 g/t silver. Grab samples are, of course, selective by nature and may not represent average grades on the property. The Tisova Copper/Cobalt belt has a long history of mining in the area. The Company state: “This will make the logistics for exploration straight forward as the regulatory environment has a long been established, allowing for certainty in this regard.”
East Bull Palladium Project in Ontario, Canada
Situated on the 992 hectare East Bull property, the East Bull Palladium Project has a 43-101 compliant inferred resource estimate of 11.1 million tonnes of 1.46 grams per tonne (523,000 ounces) palladium equivalent, with significant upside potential. The Project benefits from tested recent drilling, trenching and geophysical data; and has good logistics and infrastructure.
The Project was only acquired last month, when on February 26, 2019 21C Metals Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, East Bull Resources Inc. has entered into an option agreement with Pavey Ark Minerals Inc. to acquire a 100% interest in the East Bull Palladium Property in the Sudbury Mining Division in Ontario.
Mr. Wayne Tisdale, CEO of the 21C Metals said: “We are pleased to have closed this transaction to acquire a palladium resource located within 70 km of Sudbury, Ontario. By pursuing the recommended work program, this resource appears to have excellent potential to add palladium ounces to the current estimate. This palladium asset perfectly complements our current Tisova copper-cobalt project. At 21C Metals, we are actively pursuing the metals required for current production demand (palladium) while also preparing for the ever-increasing demand for cobalt and copper.”
21C Metals rebranding and strategy – Metals for Today and Tomorrow
Mr Tisdale also stated on the Company name change: “We are excited to announce the re-branding of the Company from Declan Cobalt Inc. to 21C Metals Inc. This change highlights the addition of our Ontario Palladium Project and our corporate initiative, “Metals for Today and Tomorrow”. We are now actively addressing both the near and longer term needs of industry for these essential metals, palladium and cobalt.”
21C Metals has a sound strategy summarized by “palladium for today and cobalt for tomorrow”. In the decades to come palladium demand will level off assuming 100% battery electric vehicles gradually takeover. As EVs phase in then cobalt demand will rise rapidly. In both scenarios 21C should be a winner if they can progress successfully to production.
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