(Reuters) -The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has entered into a $15 million agreement with the U.S. unit of Australian miner Jervois Global Ltd to conduct feasibility studies on expanding cobalt extraction in Idaho, to decrease reliance on overseas mineral sources.

The agreement will enable Jervois Mining USA to undertake mineral resource drilling to expand currently known cobalt resources at its Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) and the adjacent Sunrise deposit.

The deal also allows Jervois to undertake studies to assess the feasibility of a domestic U.S. cobalt refinery.

Cobalt is used by the DoD in high-capacity batteries for military and commercial electric vehicles.

The deal with Jervois Mining USA was finalised by the U.S. office of the assistant secretary for industrial base policy, the principal adviser to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.


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