Pacific Rim Cobalt Corp. (OTCQB: PCRCF) (CSE: BOLT) is in the process of establishing a new excavation project in the Papua Province of the Republic of Indonesia. The project, code-named the Cyclops Nickel-Cobalt Project, covers 5,000 hectares of land with 9 known cobalt-nickel deposits. The historical estimates used by Pacific Rim Cobalt come from the 1970’s explorations by the Dutch colonial government, which uncovered a number of potential nickel laterite areas associated with dunites and harzburgites. Management is relying on these historical estimates contained in the Pacific Nikkel report because the authors were experts and used industry standard procedures at the time. With production as well as environmental permits secured, with potential to be extended until 2031, Pacific Rim Cobalt can become a global supplier of cobalt and nickel.
With historical estimates of 37 million tons of 0.11% Co and 1.31% Ni at a 0.8% Ni cut-off grade, Cyclops Project is intended to supply various Asian countries which are tied to lithium-ion battery production like South Korea, Japan, India and China, the world’s largest cobalt consumer according to Pacific Rim Cobalt, potentially displacing the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the supply chain. As lithium-ion batteries are highly cobalt-reliant, the burgeoning battery market is also driving the demand for cobalt. Electric Vehicles play a large role in this, as countries like China and the United States are passing legislation to mandate increased EV production and sales. These factors have led to a cobalt supply deficit and have spiked the price to a 10-year high, states the company.
Indonesia has the potential to become a leading global supplier in cobalt and nickel due to its high grade/low strip ratio as well as the location’s proximity to large markets and year-round access to the Sentani Airport as well as potential coastal ports. With cobalt mineralization occurring at shallow depths of only 1-6 meters, it is easier to evaluate and gain access to the mineral. Additionally, with historically high-grade drill intercepts of 8m @ 0.18% Co; 13m @ 0.15% Co; and 10m @ 0.19% Co and the potential of cobalt to be found at a depth of up to 25 meters according to research done by P.T. Pacific Nikkel Indonesia, the Cyclops Project is well placed to take advantage of its unique position. Furthermore, Indonesia produced 32% of the world’s nickel as laterite ore in 2013 and has extremely large reserves, touted at 1,168 billion tons (22 million tons of Nickel), as well as resources, estimated at 3,565 billion tons (52.2 million tons of Nickel). This amounts to 40% of the global high-grade lateritic ore resources according to the company.
The recent surge in demand for cobalt, coupled with current supply chain vulnerabilities and unique positioning of the company has opened the door for Pacific Rim Cobalt to be looked at by the financial community. Its plans for future development and using proceeds for ongoing mine planning, puts the company on a unique position in the market.