Former NWT Minister Ramsay joins Fortune board
Last updated 4/24/2016 at Noon
Fortune Minerals Ltd. April 18 announced the appointment of former Northwest Territories minister David Ramsay to its board of directors.
Ramsay has more than 20 years of elected public office experience in the Northwest Territories, which included prominent cabinet positions in the Legislative Assembly.
Prior to November, he served as Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, accounting for about 50 percent of Northwest Territories' private sector gross domestic product.
Fortune said Ramsay brings important political experience and business acumen to its board as the company works with three levels of government on road and power infrastructure initiatives that are important to the success of the Nico, a gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project that includes a planned mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories and refinery in Saskatchewan.
"As the minister responsible for mining in the previous legislative assembly, I have followed the progress of this vertically integrated project with interest and recognize its importance to sustain mining as a pillar of the Northwest Territories economy," said Ramsay.
The former NWT minister also served as vice president of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region 2011-2014 and president 2014-2015.
PNWER - a statutory public-private partnership of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories - has a mandate to increase the economic well-being and quality of life for all citizens of its member states, while maintaining the natural environment.
Ramsay is also president of RCS Ltd. and Northern Building Solutions and a director of Northern Gateway Consulting.
According to 2014 feasibility study, mineral reserves at Nico will support a 21-year mine producing 41,300 ounces of gold; 1,615 metric tons of cobalt; 1,750 metric tons of bismuth; and 265 metric tons of copper.
Cobalt is the dominant metal at Nico.
Driven primarily by the metal's use in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, the cobalt market has had compound annual growth of five percent to six percent for the past two decades.
The growing popularity in electric vehicles is expected to expand this growth in the coming years.
Supporting this positive outlook, Tesla Motors made automotive history with the launch of its Model 3 electric vehicle, receiving 325,000 pre-orders of these cars in the first week.
Fortune says Nico is well positioned to become a reliable North American producer of battery-grade cobalt chemicals with supply chain custody transparency and tax advantages under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"Having a reliable Canadian solution to the impending supply deficit for cobalt will be critical to global electronics companies that need cobalt to make lithium-ion batteries used to power portable electronic devices, electric vehicles and stationary storage cells," said Ramsay.
Earlier in 2016, Fortune delivered an ultra-pure cobalt sulfate sample for testing by a potential customer.
The company said discussions for offtake agreements and project financing are ongoing.
The Nico project has received its environmental assessment approvals in the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan.