Jervois Global Ltd said it had successfully completed water commissioning in the mill and concentrator facilities for its Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) in Idaho, USA, and full concentrator commissioning is expected in early Q2 2023. The company said construction would be considered complete when the mill and concentrator have been successfully commissioned and producing separated cobalt and copper concentrates.
Ongoing labor shortages for qualified electricians delayed construction on the concentrator, with initial ore conversion into concentrate product now expected also in early Q2. Recent additions in electrical labor are expected to increase productivity and advance progress.
Piping and mechanical work across the site is in the final stages of completion with significant progress over recent months; remaining construction activities are largely electrical and focused on the concentrator and product packaging facilities.
Miners have developed the required ore access headings underground for ramp-up and transition to full production. During this development phase, Jervois has stored more than 25,000 tons of ore. The construction stage of mine development is now complete, with all underground infrastructure facilities ready including the primary ventilation raise, main shop, explosive magazine, associated fuel services, paste injection holes and sumps, which are operational. The first stope in the ore horizon has been successfully opened, further de-risking mining and confirming the potential for short-hole, open-stope mining methods where appropriate, potentially lowering mining costs.
Jervois is continuing to advance engagement with the U.S. Government on a series of potential financing initiatives. At current cobalt prices and given the cyclic nature of the commodity with Chinese market concentration, U.S. Government support is essential to ensure ICO’s long-term sustainability and the viability of domestic American supply.