Market Overview

The Cobalt Market is Projected to Expand Globally

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The Cobalt Market is Projected to Expand Globally

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NEW YORK, November 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a report published by Technavio Market Research, the global cobalt market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% during the period of 2018-2022. Based on application, the cobalt market is segmented into batteries and electronics, super alloys, pigments and hard materials. In 2017, the batteries and electronics segment held the largest market share, accounting for nearly 48% of the market. The battery chemicals sector is expected to grow at a rate of 10% during the forecast period. Recyclability of the metal is one of the key features for the cobalt market as the demand for cobalt is increasing rapidly. European Electric Metals Inc. (OTC:EVXXF), Royal Nickel Corp. (OTC:RNKLF), PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE:PLM), Pure Energy Minerals Ltd. (OTC:PEMIF), Orocobre Limited (OTC:OROCF)

The growing demand for electric vehicles is one of the key factors that will drive the global cobalt market. Many countries plan to end the production and sale of diesel and gasoline cars and establish the all-electric-vehicle ecosystem. According to a senior analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals, "The global electric vehicle count has already reached two million, and it continues to grow. There has been a significant rise in electric vehicle registrations during 2005-2016. This would increase electric vehicle battery production, which, in turn, would push the demand for cobalt, thereby driving the global cobalt market."

European Electric Metals Inc. (OTC:EVXXF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: EVX). Earlier this week, the Company announced, "the appointment of Mr. Ian Stalker as Advisor. Mr. Stalker is an international mining executive with 45 years of experience in mine development and operations in Europe, Africa and Australia. Mr. Stalker was the Chief Executive Officer of UraMin Inc., a London-listed and Toronto-listed uranium company, from July, 2005, until its $2.5 billion acquisition by Areva in August, 2007.

Mr. Stalker was a vice-president of Gold Fields Ltd., the world's fourth-largest gold producer, where he spent considerable time on the ground on its international operations. Mr. Stalker has held executive positions in some of the largest mining companies in the world and has successfully managed eight mining projects through feasibility study, development and construction phases.

Mr. Stalker has significant cobalt experience gained during his time on the Zambian Copperbelt from 1973 to 1987. Mr. Stalker operated the country's only dedicated cobalt process plant and was involved in the design and construction of the plant, which is still in operation. Additionally, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Luanshya Mine from 1999-2000, after its 1997 privatization, where the bulk of the cobalt production from the Copperbelt was centered. Mr. Stalker's current roles include Chairman of Plateau Energy Metals, Chief Executive Officer of LSC Lithium and Director of K92 Mining Inc.

Mr. Fred Tejada, EVX Chief Executive Officer, states, 'Ian not only has a track record of success at starting and re-starting mining operations, but his experience is unique in that it includes significant operational expertise in cobalt mining and processing. Our Skroska Nickel-Cobalt Mine is a fully developed mine with excellent underground infrastructure, development and equipment and we are targeting a restart of operations. Ian will be a big asset as we push forward aggressively with these plans.'

About European Electric Metals Inc.- European Electric Metals Inc. is a Canadian listed public company, with a focus on electrification themed projects in Europe. A major shareholder of EVX is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The goal of EVX is to become a major source of battery metals such as copper, nickel and cobalt, and the Company seeks to do so within safe, stable and logistically attractive European jurisdictions. The Company's projects are ideally located with excellent road, port and grid power availability, and near European countries that are poised to experience dramatic growth in the electric-vehicle-manufacturing industry. There is a strong battery-manufacturing industry within Europe with many more projects in the pipeline."

Royal Nickel Corp. (OTCQX:RNKLF) is a multi-asset mineral resource company with a portfolio of gold and base metal production and exploration properties. RNC Minerals recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Haywood Securities Inc., as lead agent on behalf of a syndicate of agents, including Laurentian Bank Securities Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp., and Red Cloud Klondike Strike Inc., whereby the Agents have agreed to sell, on a "best-efforts" private placement basis, a minimum of 40,000,000 units of RNC, at a price of USD 0.15 per Unit for minimum gross proceeds of USD 6,000,000. Each Unit will be comprised of one common share in the capital of RNC and one common share purchase warrant. Each Warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one Common Share at an exercise price of USD 0.21 for a period of 30 months following the closing of the Offering. RNC has granted the Agents an option, exercisable in whole or in part at any time prior to the closing of the Offering, to sell up to an additional 15% of the Offering in Units at the Issue Price. Closing of the Offering is expected to occur on or about June 14th, 2018 and is subject to receipt of customary regulatory approvals and conditions, including approval of the TSX. The net proceeds of the Offering will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes (including reduction of current indebtedness and payables) and to fund the advancement of RNC's nickel-cobalt project.

PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE:PLM) is a publicly traded mine development company that owns 100% of Poly Met Mining, Inc. Poly Met Mining Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of PolyMet Mining Corp., earlier this year reported that it has filed an updated technical report with Canadian and U.S. securities agencies that reaffirms the economic and technical viability of the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project located near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. The report provides technical and economic details for development of the mining operation in two distinct phases. Phase I involves development of 225 million tons - nearly one-third of NorthMet's known resource - into an operating mine processing 32,000 tons per day over a 20-year mine life. It also includes rehabilitating the former LTV Steel Mining Company processing plant. Phase II involves construction and operation of a hydrometallurgical plant to treat nickel sulfide concentrates into upgraded nickel-cobalt hydroxide and recover additional copper and platinum-group metals. While development of Phase II will be at the company's discretion, both phases are currently being permitted and are included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and draft permits. Phase II would increase the project's capital costs by approximately USD 259 Million. "This report reaffirms the technical and financial viability of the 32,000 tpd case for which the final EIS and draft permits have been issued. Our focus remains on obtaining final permits under the 32,000 tpd permit case, meeting our environmental and financial assurance obligations under the terms of those permits, and obtaining the necessary financing to build the project," said Jon Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are making significant progress on all of those fronts."

Pure Energy Minerals Ltd. (OTCQB:PEMIF) is a lithium resource developer that is driven to become a low-cost supplier for the growing lithium battery industry. Pure Energy's CV Project is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, adjacent to the only producing lithium-brine operation in North America. Pure Energy Minerals Limited recently announced the completion of basic design for the pilot plant at its flagship Clayton Valley Project. Pure Energy has been working closely with its engineering providers to achieve the basic engineering and ensuing final design of the pilot plant. Building on the work reviewed at an engineering meeting on February 2018, the basic design includes drafts of process flow diagrams (PFDs), piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), specifications, subcontractor scopes, contracting documents, and facility layouts. The pilot plant design is being led by Tenova Advanced Technologies with significant contributions from SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions, a business unit of SUEZ Group, and NORAM Engineering & Constructors. The facility at the CV Project will be the first pilot-scale implementation of the Tenova Process in the world. Patrick Highsmith, Pure Energy's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are truly excited to receive the pilot-plant basic design package from the Engineering Team. The team has made significant progress over the three months since we last met at TAT's research facility in Israel. The basic design package represents the culmination of thousands of hours of engineering effort toward the design of this first-of-its-kind facility. We are particularly pleased to work with Tenova, SUEZ, and NORAM, all of whom are world-renowned leaders in their respective fields. Their support is invaluable to the development and success of the CV Project."

Orocobre Limited (OTC:OROCF) is a dynamic global lithium carbonate supplier and an established producer of boron. Orocobre is dual listed on the Australia and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Orocobre Limited recently announced this update on the brine sampling of diamond core hole CAU22 in the SE Sector of the Cauchari JV property located in Jujuy Province, Argentina. The exploration program is being managed by JV partner Advantage Lithium Corp. who hold 75% of Cauchari. Orocobre owns 33.5% of Advantage Lithium's issued capital and 25% directly in the joint venture. Highlights: Systematic brine sampling completed in CAU22 averaged 549 mg/l lithium and 3,630 mg/l potassium from 146.5 - 290.5 m depth, with samples not yet received below this depth. The brine shows a similar grade and very low average Mg/Li ratio of 2.4:1, similar to that demonstrated during pumping of CAU11 - excellent for conventional brine processing. Results from CAU22, together with recently acquired TEM electrical geophysics in this area, confirm the extension of brine mineralisation in the SE sector to the fault forming the eastern boundary of the Cauchari basin. Orocobre Managing Director Mr Richard Seville commented "Continuing excellent resultsfrom CAU22 highlight the understanding of the Cauchari basin and the likelihood the JV can grow the resource base. The Phase III systematic drilling and sampling program has confirmed the extension of mineralised brine below the 300 m depth of the existing resource in the east of the SE Sector, with geophysics suggesting the brine mineralisation extends further east than in the current resource. The Mg/Li continues to be low in this area, with positive brine chemistry. With four drilling rigs operating, the JV is on schedule with the resource conversion program that aims to upgrade the resource to Measured and Indicated status. Additionally, extended pumping tests in test wells CAU07 and CAU11 are commencing, which will give us important hydraulic characteristics to complete the dynamic model for potential reserves."

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