Bluebird Plans 2020 Canegrass Drill Program Following Corporate Review
Vancouver, British Columbia, April 30, 2020 – BlueBird Battery Metals Inc. (TSXV: BATT; US:BBBMF) (the “Company” or “BlueBird”) is pleased to announce that, following its review of battery metal trends, the Company will focus its initial 2020 exploration activity on its Canegrass project. The results of the review indicate battery makers are trending away from the initial widespread use of lithium dominated batteries, to newer designs which use up to 80% nickel, 10% cobalt and 10% manganese, and produce the longest lifespan and vehicle range. Bluebird’s Canegrass project has returned high-grade nickel, as well as significant copper and cobalt values, and is located in Western Australia – rated the World’s number one mining jurisdiction by the Fraser Institute.
Peter Dickie, President and CEO of Bluebird, commented, “The 2018 drill program at Canegrass produced exceptional results, including BBRC-001 which returned 12 m averaging 1.17% Ni, 0.93% Cu, 0.05% Co, together with significant PGE and Vanadium credits. On the back of this success, we are finalizing plans for an expanded drill program to be carried out as soon as conditions permit in 2020.”
Corporate Review Highlights
- Robust Longterm EV Sales Outlook Due to Global Decarbonization. Driven by government and consumer need to decarbonize, along with falling battery prices, annual passenger EV sales expected to hit 10 million in 2025, up from 2.3 million in 20191.
- Battery Megafactory Boom Continues. 115 battery megafactories 2are in the pipleline worldwide, up from just 3 in 2015. Electric Vehicle (“EV”)
- Battery Design Changes Favour Nickel, Manganese and Cobalt. To overcome travel distance shortcomings in current electric vehicles, battery makers are moving away from lithium ion phosphate batteries and embracing newer designs based on NMC111 (equal parts nickel, cobalt, manganese) and NMC811 (80% nickel, 10% manganese, 10% cobalt).3
- Western Australia Now World’s Top-Rated Mining Jurisdiction. Large proportion of battery metal supply from higher-risk jurisdictions, including estimated 33%4 of nickel supply from Indonesia and the Phillipines, and 65%5 of cobalt supply coming from the DRC. Battery manufacturers are demanding greater security of supply and Western Australia, a major nickel supplier, has now become the number one rated mining jurisdiction in the world6.
Peter Dickie, President and CEO of Bluebird, added, “Thanks to the continued desire for global decarbonization towards a green economy, the long term prospects for the battery sector are robust. With 115 battery megafactories under construction, and manufacturers beginning to turn to battery chemistries focused on nickel, manganese and cobalt, we are particularly excited about the potential of our project portfolio in Western Australia. Following a detailed project review, we are in the planning stage for a series of work programs aimed at advancing our Canegrass project, which is host to the full suite of battery metals, including high-grade nickel.”
Project Review Highlights
- Canegrass Project Hosts Multiple Battery Metals, Including High-Grade Nickel. Canegrass, located in the Windimurra Complex of Western Austra, has been identified as the company’s priority project going forward, with drilling in 2018 encountering near surface, high-grade nickel mineralization, as well as cobalt, copper, platinum and palladium.
- Clear Advancement Path for Canegrass. Additional, high-priority drill targets have been identified at Canegrass, together with follow up drilling to the successful 2018 drill holes. The project is road accessible and has no aboriginal title challenges.
- Drilling Planned for 2020. Following the successful drilling program in 2018, downhole geophysics, along with additional review of surface work, has produced several new and follow-up drill targets warranting further exploration. A drill program is planned for 2020, as soon as conditions permit.
- Ashburton Project Hosts Significant Cobalt-Manganese Mineralization. Comprehensive sampling at Bluebird’s Ashburton project, located in the Pilbarra District of Western Australia, has encountered significant cobalt-manganese mineralization. The Company is reviewing fieldwork options to determine the next stage of advancement.
Canegrass Project – 2018 Drill Program Highlights
The technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Nathan Tribble, P.Geo., a director of the Company and a Qualified Person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101. The qualified person has not yet visited the Ashburton Project, and therefore has not yet verified the data disclosed, including sampling, analytical, and test data underlying the information or opinions contained in the written disclosure.
About BlueBird Battery Metals
BlueBird Battery Metals (TSXV: BATT; US: BBBMF) is a Canadian publicly listed company focused on the global exploration and development of strategic battery metals projects, primarily nickel, cobalt, and copper in safe jurisdictions. BlueBird’s goal is to pursue a business model that offers direct and long-term leverage to the price appreciation of battery metals, several of which have vulnerable supply chains, and are part of an emerging sector with extraordinary potential. BlueBird is currently advancing a portfolio of battery metals focused assets in Western Australia and reviewing new acquisition opportunities to add to the Company’s project portfolio.
On Behalf of the Board of BlueBird Battery Metals Inc.
President and CEO
For more information, please contact 1-855-584-0160 or [email protected].
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Forward Looking Statements: Statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, which are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainness and other factors that may cause the actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results may vary, and we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.
1 Bloomberg NEF, 2019
2 Benchmark Minerals, December 2019
3 Adamas Intelligence “EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker”
4 US Geological Survey, 2019
5 US Geological Survey, 2019
6 Fraser Institute “Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2019”