First Cobalt signs LoI to gain 70% interest in seven exploration properties in Congo

First Cobalt has signed an exclusive letter of intent (LoI) with Madini Minerals' associate JayBird Invest to form a strategic alliance. 

Under the LoI, First Cobalt will earn a controlling interest over seven prospective copper-cobalt exploration properties, covering 190km² in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

According to the company, the deal represents a low-risk entry point into the world’s leading cobalt jurisdiction, adding to its existing portfolio of Keeley-Frontier Mine option in Canada.

First Cobalt will become a 70% joint venture partner on each of seven properties totalling 190km² on the Central African Copperbelt in Katanga, DRC, all with known surface mineralisation.

First Cobalt president and chief executive officer Trent Mell said: “Identifying the right mineral properties in the DRC is a key part of our strategy to grow our global portfolio of cobalt properties.

“The DRC accounts for over 60% of global cobalt production and we see significant exploration upside in the country. 

"The DRC accounts for over 60% of global cobalt production and we see significant exploration upside in the country."

“This transaction will allow First Cobalt to firmly establish a presence in one of the richest mining camps in the world.

“I also look forward to announcing the work plan for the Keeley-Frontier mine in northern Ontario in the near future as we move forward with our strategy to provide focused leverage to the cobalt market.”

Madini will act as First Cobalt’s operator on all seven properties.

As consideration for the options, First Cobalt will pay JayBird $439, 091 in cash and issue 4.53 million shares upon closing of the transaction. 

The 70% interest over all seven properties is subject to a total payment of $1.58m to the property owners.

Upon closing, it is expected that JayBird will have an 8.5% ownership interest in First Cobalt.

The agreement is non-binding and is subject to certain conditions, including the receipt of all necessary regulatory and other approvals such as from the TSX Venture Exchange.