A conversation with Joe Kaderavek, CEO of Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX: COB).

Following on from our conversation with Joe Kaderavek a few weeks ago, just out of surgery that morning, he tells us about Cobalt Blue Holdings and how the intend to find their place in the Cobalt market. Kaderavek is ex- Deutsche bank financier, head of resources, and is all too aware of project like this get funded and what they need in place to get it. We were impressed by his acumen, understanding of the market and the ability to articulate their business plan. And they continue to deliver on-time and on-schedule.

Cobalt Blue Holdings is a relatively advanced project. They have a pilot plant underway which is financed. Formed in 2016. Listed in 2017. Their Broken Hill project is main focus. It is a large but low-grade project. The management teams believes that if they can make this a sulphide project they can keep their capital costs low. 90% recovery and sulphur as by-product. Maybe they have something. The pilot plant is going to allow them to show the technical merit and more important that the economics of the project stand up.

Cobalt is an idiosyncratic, complex and opaque market. And it is a very small market. Most people reference DRC ethical issues which produces 70% of the volume. Kaderavek runs us through the history of how cobalt and other metals are traded in the market. It’s important to understand this before considering investing in to a cobalt company. He tells us how traders make money. How will companies source ethical cobalt from going forward. We discuss why the cobalt market is volatile. What stresses the cobalt market?

Cobalt Blue Holdings still has a lot do but they are clear about the path and what they need to do to get there. They are working towards the delivery of a Feasibility Study in the next 18-months, but Kaderavek recognises the need to be an economic story that will get funded. That is what they are focused on.

  • 2:12 – Company Overview
  • 2:27 – Structures & Issues of the Cobalt Market: What Incites Volatility?
  • 8:27 – Why Choose Cobalt as the Metal to Build a Business On?
  • 10:36 – The Business Plan: What Did They Set out to Build?
  • 14:35 – Confidence in Delivering a BFS: Demonstrating the Economics of Their Project
  • 19:31 – The Numbers: An Upcoming Raise and the Structure, Burn Rate and Cash Position
  • 24:21 – Barriers, Risk Mitigation and Pressure from Partners: All Smooth Sailing?
  • 27:15 – How Much Control Have They Got?
  • 29:03 – The Asset: Broken Hill Overview
  • 30:43 – Anticipating a Market Return and Timings of Investing

Published on March 22, 2020