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ECobalt improves Idaho project economics after raising target output rate

ECobalt Solutions Inc. said Jan. 7 that it reduced risks in the Idaho cobalt project after increasing the target production rate by 50% to 1,200 tonnes per day in a new mine plan.

The plan will allow eCobalt to produce more cobalt earlier, thereby increasing cash flows at the beginning of the mine life, improving payback and overall project economics amid recent market volatility.

While the change will require the retrofitting of the mill, the company said the incremental cost will be supported by projected savings from increased production.

A September 2017 feasibility study outlined a target output rate of 800 t/d.

According to President and CEO Michael Callahan, the change is not expected to cause significant delays in achieving full production, and will not require any adjustments to the planned surface disturbance of the mine and mill.

The company said it is working with Micon International Ltd. to complete an updated feasibility study for Idaho, which was valued at US$135.8 million in the previous study.

Work required to finalize the study includes adjusting the mining sequence, schedule and costing for 1,200 t/d; completing the engineering for mill expansion; obtaining quotes to bring cost estimates to feasibility-level; and defining final concentrate specifications based on competitive commercial terms for off-take.